Community tip led to shooter arrest - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Community tip led to shooter arrest

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Officer Tim Harvey, Courtesy APD Officer Tim Harvey, Courtesy APD
The suspect, 18-year old Johnny Hill, was arrested in Camilla Wednesday night and charged with shooting HarveyTuesday. The suspect, 18-year old Johnny Hill, was arrested in Camilla Wednesday night and charged with shooting HarveyTuesday.
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June 19, 2008

Albany -- Police say the Albany teenager charged with shooting a police officer, had drugs on him at the time of the shooting. 18-year old Johnny Hill was arrested in Camilla Wednesday night and charged with gunning down an Albany officer early Tuesday.

Hill made his first appearance in court at 8:40 Thursday morning. The former Westover High student, who was kicked out of school, is charged with six crimes, including aggravated assault and felony obstruction of an officer. Police say he's the man who shot and wounded Patrolman Tim Harvey on 8th Avenue earlier this week.

 A handcuffed Hill stood quietly before the judge as the charges against him were read in court. Tonight he remains locked up in the Dougherty County jail.

WALB News 10 learned that police recovered several small bags of marijuana from the area of the shooting. Police refused to speculate whether that may be why Johnny Hill ran from and subsequently shot Officer Tim Harvey.

Investigators credit overwhelming response from the community and numerous law enforcement agencies for helping them solve the case quickly. Law enforcement officers from at least ten local, state, and federal agencies gathered together, showing the scope of what they called the fugitive task force used to track down Johnny Hill.

 The 18 year old, who was recently kicked out of Westover High School, was captured in a Camilla apartment, and charged with shooting Albany Police Officer Tim Harvey Tuesday morning. Investigators say a tip led them to Camilla, and Hill. And admit the response to their call for help finding the cop shooter was overwhelming. Detective Carmelita Preston said "At least every 15 to 20 minutes we were getting calls from the community about different names, suspects, and people of interest. So it was very vital to the investigation."

About 3 AM Tuesday on 8th Avenue, Officer Harvey tried to talk to a suspicious person riding a bicycle. The suspect, described as about 5-foot-8 and with dreadlocks, ran, and Officer Harvey chased him. Police say the suspect shot Harvey in the lower abdomen during the chase.

Investigators say they found marijuana at the scene of the shooting linked to Hill. Police say the intense manhunt came to a quiet conclusion at the Camilla apartment, where the unarmed Hill gave up without incident. Preston said "No sir, basically we went to the residence and he was arrested. There was nothing more."

Johnny Hill now is in the Dougherty County jail, charged with aggravated assault, obstruction of a Police Officer, using a gun in a crime, and drug possession. South Georgia law enforcers credit their work together as a team, for the quick arrest in the cop shooting. Albany Police Chief James Younger said "Officers, because of the nature of the work, they do bond together as a family. And when someone gets injured it certainly has the same impact as if a blood relative got injured."

Officer Tim Harvey remains in an Albany hospital in fair condition.  Chief Younger said the prognosis for his full recovery is good.

Police say Officer Harvey's family wants to thank the community for its support.

Johnny Hill could receive up to 20 years in prison for each of the four felony charges.

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