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Top High School Football Recruit, Dies in Possible Suicide

Courtesy of Will Brinson (author feed)

johnson

Billey Joe Johnson was considered one of the top high school football recruits in Mississippi, as well as the country, until his shocking death early Monday morning.

Johnson, hailing from Jackson, Miss., rushed for more than 1,500 yards his last season, totaling over 4,000 for his career, and received scholarship offers from a number of major schools including Alabama, LSU and Mississippi as a top-rated recruit by both Scout and Rivals.

Johnson died of a (possibly self-inflicted) gun wound early Monday after being pulled by a sheriff’s deputy.

It’s not clear why 17-year-old Billey Joe Johnson was stopped in Lucedale, but authorities say the junior tailback shot himself with a shotgun after the deputy walked back to the patrol car to run a license check.

“The deputy was sitting in his patrol vehicle … when he heard a gunshot and saw the victim laying on the ground by the driver’s side door of the vehicle that Johnson was driving. A shotgun was lying on the victim,” according to a statement from the George County Sheriff’s Department.

Authorities would not immediately say whether they believed the shooting was a suicide or an accident.

The last portion of that quote is particularly perplexing, because it is hard to believe that Johnson would have attempted to pull a shotgun on police officers …although equally confounding is the notion that Johnson would kill himself at what, according to all current reports, appears to be a basic traffic stop.

Nothing is ever certain, but this story appears to be so odd, at least in the manner of death, that it would be even more shocking if further details didn’t at least emerge as to why the young man apparently panicked and pulled a gun that resulted in the tragic and early end to his life.

5 responses

  1. Debi

    Billey Joe Johnson was from Lucedale, MS…not Jackson. As this article was posted on 12/16, more followup needs to be done. Billey Joe was stopped for running a red light and a stop sign. He was reportedly going hunting with a friend that morning, and most likely went to move his gun into a prominent position of view for the Deputy so it would not be deemed a “concealed weapon”. I do not believe he committed suicide, OR had any intent of attacking the Deputy. I believe this was purely a horribly tragic accidental shooting.

    December 17, 2008 at 11:56 am

  2. Carl Willis

    This story lacks credibility, and definitely should be investigated thoroughly.

    December 22, 2008 at 2:22 am

  3. Anonymous

    I 1st heard about this on CNN – Rick Sanchez. That show is 1 of the best and I watch all the time – all I can say is… something just isn’t right about the way this young man died.

    December 24, 2008 at 3:57 am

  4. I certainly do not think this boy would kill himself. That police officer and his daughter had something to do with it. Just answer this question, why would he kill hisself and he had so much coming for him. This is not over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 26, 2008 at 12:26 am

  5. i dont konw

    August 21, 2010 at 12:14 pm

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