The Sideshow

Police cold case: Man dies decades after he was shot and paralyzed

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
The Sideshow

Johnson (ABC/News 10)

Police in Sacramento, Calif., are investigating the death of a 62-year-old man who died from a shooting—36 years after it happened.

Walter Johnson Jr., who was left paralyzed from the 1977 attack, died from complications related to his paralysis, leading police to rule his death a homicide. They are asking the public for help in its investigation.

It's technically the fourth homicide in the California state capital this year.

According to a press release issued by the Sacramento Police Department, Johnson was driving to his parents' home on April 9, 1977, at approximately 3:48 a.m. when three unidentified men blocked the roadway. They confronted Johnson in his vehicle, and a struggle ensued. Johnson was shot in the upper body. The suspects then robbed Johnson and "fled in a red or brown Ford Pinto." The three suspects—described as Hispanic adults—were never apprehended.

Police are hoping that advances in technology, and perhaps even guilty consciences, may lead to a break in the cold case.

"Sometimes people ... want to talk about it over the years," SPD spokeswoman Michele Gigante told the Sacramento Press. "It's still up in the air at this point, but do I think we have a good chance of solving this? Sure."

Sacramento police are offering up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.

View Comments (992)