BIRMINGHAM — The man accused in the shooting death of Kimberly police officer Nick O’Rear, will be arraigned, or formally charged, on Thursday, May 6, 2021. The court date has been set for the state charges.
Preston Chyenne Johnson, 38, of Addison, Ala., is charged with three counts of capital murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle, according to court documents.
Johnson was indicted on federal charges on Feb. 27, 2020. A Jefferson County grand jury indicted him on the state charges on Nov. 6, 2020.
According to the indictment, Johnson is accused of shooting the officer with a rifle.
The shooting happened on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. Police said Warrior Police attempted to pull over a vehicle, which did not stop. Officer Nick O’Rear, from the Kimberly Police Department, joined the chase. O’Rear proceeded to pull in front of the vehicle and that’s when investigators said someone fired into the police cruiser.
The officer was struck and crashed his vehicle shortly thereafter. He was escorted to UAB Hospital by Warrior firefighters along with a large contingent of police officers. O’Rear was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.