The mother of Jeffrey T. Johnson harbors no ill will toward the NYPD. She understands why her son - who shot an ex-colleague last week before being gunned down by multiple police officers - was killed on the streets of New York City.
But that doesn't mean she understands what drove Johnson to commit such a heinous act outside the Empire State Building on August 24.
“I don’t blame police in New York for shooting my son because he killed somebody, but for me, he hasn’t changed," Ms. Johnson tells The New York Times in a new interview. "He’s still the kindhearted, caring person who loved all kinds of animals and I’m sure he loved us. You know a mother always tries to look for the best in you.”
For privacy's sake, Ms. Johnson asked for her first name to be withheld, but she did give readers a bit of insight into her child.
He moved from Japan to Georgia when he was an infant. He was nearly killed in a car accident when he was 11. His longtime cat recently died in his arms, a development that left Johnson's life "diminished tenfold" according to a letter he wrote his mother.
He joined the Coast Guard after dropping out of college and was married for four years before a divorce about three decades ago.