WASHINGTON — An off-duty police officer was killed by a stray bullet while inside his house in West Memphis, Ark., authorities said.
Officer Oliver Johnson was in his game room playing video games with his family when a bullet struck and killed him Saturday, said Lietenant Eric Varner, a spokesman for the Forrest City Police Department, where Johnson worked.
‘‘We’re at a loss for words,” Varner said. “We’re deeply saddened by this.’’
The shooting occurred Saturday afternoon at an apartment complex in West Memphis, where Johnson lived, Captain Joe Baker of the West Memphis Police Department told reporters.
The Washington Post was not immediately able to reach Baker on Sunday, but Varner said a fight between several people outside the apartment escalated into a shooting. Johnson was not a target, Baker said.
Neighbors told local media that they had heard as many as 40 gunshots. Photos and videos showed the windows of Johnson’s apartment riddled with bullets.It’s unclear whether police have made an arrest. It’s also unclear how many other people were in the apartment.