Off-duty Police Officer Praised For Actions During Northwest Indiana Walmart Shooting

Officer Bill Johnson rushed his wife and kids outside then went back in the store

An off-duty police officer has been credited for stepping into action and detaining the suspect in a shooting at a Northwest Indiana Walmart.

The shooting happened at approximately 3:50 p.m. on Sunday at the Walmart located at 2936 E. 79th Ave. in Hobart, police said.

A man was shot following an altercation, and transported to the hospital in stable condition, officials confirmed.

A the time of the shooting, off-duty East Chicago Police Officer Bill Johnson and his family were shopping on what started as a 'lazy Sunday.'

The day quickly changed when Johnson heard a 'pop.' The officer said he instantly knew it was a gunshot because of the distinct sound.

“So I rushed my family out, get them out, go back in, and try to figure out what’s going on,” Officer Johnson said.

The officer took his wife and kids to their car then turned right back around.

“I told him ‘please stay,’ he’s like ‘no, I got to go,’” said Nikki Johnson, Officer Bill Johnson’s wife.

Officer Johnson said the suspect didn’t leave the scene, and didn’t resist.

“He proned out on the floor, told me where his gun was," the officer said. "I took it, secured it, and Hobart [police] showed up shortly after that."

On Monday, police said detectives finished their interviews with the people involved in the incident, and planned to present their case to the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday, according to a post on the Hobart Police Department’s Facebook page.

A woman who was with the shooting suspect was released, and wasn't expected to face charges, police said.

“You prepare for it, but you hope that your family is not there,” Officer Johnson said. “You kind of hope that it’s just out with you and not somebody else, so it’s easier on you.”

Officer Johnson applauded the quick response of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, as well as the Hobart and Merrillville police departments.

One day after the incident, Officer Johnson had a quick realization: he didn’t end up getting everything he wanted at Walmart, like supplies for fishing on Labor Day.

“I told him it’s all Amazon Prime from here now, no more shopping,” his wife Nikki Johnson joked.

The East Chicago Police Department commended Officer Johnson for his quick response on Facebook.

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