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Alabama officer killed while helping in pursuit leaves behind mourning family, community

Kimberly Police Officer Nick O'Rear was shot and killed after a police pursuit in Alabama.
Credit: Alabama Association of Chiefs of Police
Officer Nick O'Rear

WALKER COUNTY, Ala. — The handcuffs had a name and a date on them. The name was of a man accused of killing an Alabama police officer. The date was when they were placed on the alleged killer's wrists.

The handcuffs were included along with a message from Walker County, Alabama Sheriff's Sgt. Kevin Emberg on Wednesday to announce the capture of Preston Chyenne Johnson - the man accused of killing Kimberly Police Officer Nick O'Rear on Tuesday night.

Throughout Tuesday evening and the next day, word spread of the violent night and how O'Rear ultimately died despite being rushed to UAB Hospital for emergency treatment. Since then, departments and residents around Alabama have shared their condolences.

Reports suggest O'Rear was shot late Tuesday while assisting the Warrior Police Department with a vehicle refusing to stop on I-65.

Multiple police agencies shared a statewide Blue Alert in the search for Johnson in connection with the violent events of Tuesday night. He was charged with the capital murder of an officer with a gun after being arrested.

Credit: ALEA
Preston Cheyenne Johnson

Following the suspect's arrest on Wednesday, Emberg wrote the letter now shared on the Walker County Sheriff's Office page - a request to put this specific pair of handcuffs out of use.

"Sergeant Emberg wishes that these handcuffs be officially retired seeing as they were used on an offender that shot and killed an Alabama Police Officer," he wrote.

According to the Alabama Association of Chiefs of Police, O'Rear was the father of two children "with a third child on the way."

He was 33.

His alleged killer, Johnson, is being held in the Jefferson County, Alabama Jail without bond.


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