Officer Howard Louis Johnson
End of Watch : August 16, 1972
Roseville Police Department
|At 12:28 p.m. on August 16, 1972, an armed man robbed the First Federal Saving and Loan Association in Rosedale Center. After obtaining $1,800 in cash, he fled the scene on foot and disappeared into a residential neighborhood on the northeast corner of County Road B2 and Snelling.|
Numerous officers from a number of police agencies began searching for the suspect, two of whom were Roseville detectives, Sergeant James Larson and Officer Howard Johnson. While checking the area where the suspect was last seen, Larson and Johnson parked their unmarked car, split up and began looking for the suspect on foot. A short time later officers in the area heard gunshots.
Roseville Sergeant Kenneth Juetten and Arden Hills Officer Gordon Fickett saw the suspect running south across County Road B2, just east of Snelling. At gun point they apprehended the suspect without incident. The suspect spontaneously told the arresting officers, "I think I just shot one of your guys back there."
Roseville Lt. Robert Goeritz and Officers David Berglund and Joseph Guy found Johnson lying in the front yard of a residence on Sextant just east of Snelling, with a gunshot wound to his chest.
Johnson was immediately loaded in the back of Guy's squad car and transported to St. Paul Ramsey Hospital where Johnson was pronounced dead soon after his arrival.
Within a half-hour of the robbery, Officer Johnson was shot and killed, the suspect was captured and all the money he had stolen was recovered in a discarded pillowcase.
Witnesses later told police that after the suspect ran across Snelling, he hid beneath the boughs of a large pine tree. When Johnson approached the tree, the suspect shot him once, knocking Johnson to the ground. The suspect then fled south toward County Road B2. Johnson got up and briefly gave chase. He fired his gun twice at the suspect, then collapsed-mortally wounded.
The suspect, Howard Allan Zumberge, 21, was convicted of first-degree murder and robbery and sentenced to life in prison.
Zumberge's accomplice, failed getaway-car-driver Stephen Douglas Arendes, 19, was charged with third degree murder and aggravated robbery. A District Court Judge dismissed his charges, so the case was turned over to the U.S. Federal Court for prosecution.
Officer Johnson, 48, served with the Roseville Police Department for fifteen years. He was the first Roseville Officer to be killed in the line of duty. He was buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. He was survived by his wife, Lorraine, and their three children, Bruce, Pamela and Debra and four grandchildren.
As of March 2007, Lorraine is retired and lives in Roseville (she never remarried after Howie's death); Son, Bruce is single, living in Spring Lake Park and working for Target Corporation. Daughter, Debra is married, has two children, Michelle and Michael. Debra resides in Shoreview and works for Incarnation Lutheran Church. Daughter, Pamela is widowed, living in Moundsview and working for the City of Arden Hills. Pam has two children Brian and Kelley. Brian and his wife Marlys who live in Inver Grove Heights have three children, Breanna, Logan and Kayla. Kelly and her husband Doug Stowell live in Andover and have two children, McKenna and Sam. Lorraine currently has five great-grandchildren.
Special thanks to: Investigator Joseph Guy of the Roseville Police Department for his contribution in this tribute to Officer Howard Louis Johnson.
|Lawrence Paul Felcyn||Inno Suek|