Iraq war vet shot by police sentenced in domestic violence incident

Man was shot after raising shotgun toward police

An Iraq war veteran who was shot and wounded by Middleton police responding to a domestic abuse call last fall was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison.

A tearful Brandon Johnson, of Fitchburg, expressed remorse for his actions last October, when police said he held his estranged wife against her will in her Middleton apartment.

The criminal complaint said that the 23-year-old man and his wife had several violent incidents that escalated the night of Oct. 4. His wife told Middleton police that Johnson had repeatedly told her, “I’m not going back to jail” and something to the effect of “I’m just going to do the cop thing.” Johnson’s wife said she took the latter statement to mean he would end his life by “suicide by cop.”

Johnson was shot by a Middleton police officer during the incident. According to the complaint, Johnson answered the door of his wife’s apartment carrying a sawed-off shotgun, which he started to raise toward the officer and refused to drop when asked. The officer fired three times, hitting Johnson twice.

Prosecutors called the case “textbook domestic violence.”

“Mr. Johnson served our country by fighting terrorists. And yet, when he came back, he used his knowledge and experience to become a terrorist himself,” said prosecutor Colette Smith.

Johnson said he hopes to seek treatment for his anger management while serving time.

“I wish I could take it back, but I can’t. I hope all the victims have a productive life and a future and they prosper,” Johnson said.

In addition to three years in prison, Johnson will serve five years of extended supervision. 

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