KHQ EXCLUSIVE: 'Sheriff Knezovich Hasn't Called Or Talked To Me - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

KHQ EXCLUSIVE: 'Sheriff Knezovich Hasn't Called Or Talked To Me Since The Shooting'

Deputy Eric Johnson is an 18 year veteran of the Sheriff's Office, but has not been able to return to work since an incident where two deputies were shot Deputy Eric Johnson is an 18 year veteran of the Sheriff's Office, but has not been able to return to work since an incident where two deputies were shot
SPOKANE, Wash. -

It's been nearly 18 months since Charles Wallace opened fire on two Spokane County Deputies, hitting them both. Since then, four deputies were placed on medical leave; the two who were shot, Matt Spink and Mike Northway, and two others who were suffering from post-traumatic stress. One of the two suffering from post-traumatic stress is Deputy Eric Johnson. Johnson is an 18 year veteran of the Sheriff's Office, but has not been able to return to work since the incident. Johnson arrived on scene less than a minute after his two co-workers were shot. Johnson said he's been at hundreds of shootings, but this one was different.

"They're like family," Johnson said. "You spend more time with these folks than you do with your own families."

Now Johnson may soon be out of a job because doctors say he may not be able to return to work in his current role ever again. A few weeks ago he was sent a personnel memorandum of understanding stating that he was going to be released from his position "due to medical reasons."

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich says that's not entirely true. He says that his office has provided the family with several options: 1. Take another position within the county, 2. Take full medical retirement, 3. Go back to school with help from the county. The Johnson family says they have never heard of these options. The family says not only have they not heard of them, the union president has not heard of them and neither has the lawyer they have been working with.

"I have received a lot of support from my co-workers, but from the administration itself, none," Johnson said. "Sheriff Knezovich hasn't called or talked to me since the shooting."

"I'm not the person he wants to hear from. He made that very clear. Very clear," Sheriff Knezovich said.

Sheriff Knezovich said Johnson is still mad at him following past disciplinary issues, but the family says he does not have any disciplinary problems on file in his 18 year history with the county.

"He's just not the same person. He seems to be forever altered," Johnson's wife Margarita Johnson said. "Our life has been on hold while he's trying to fight this. My workload has gone up because his full time job is trying to get better."

The Johnson's say if any of the possible options are presented to them they would be happy to consider them at that time, but as of right now all they say they have is a notice of possible release due to medical reasons.

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