BCPD: Gun pointed at officer during traffic stop was loaded

BCPD: Gun pointed at officer during traffic stop was loaded
Nathan Birdwell, 17 (Source: Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office)
Nathan Birdwell, 17 (Source: Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office)

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Bossier City police say the weapon aimed at one of their officers during a traffic stop over the weekend was loaded.

That new detail was released Monday, along with the name of the officer involved in the shooting that followed.

Sgt. Kenneth Johnson, who has been an officer with BCPD since 1994, remains on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.

"He's been with our department 21 years. He's served in a number of different divisions, including Vice," said Bossier City Public Information Officer Mark Natale.

Police say the shooting happened around 2:30 a.m. Saturday on Barksdale Boulevard at Westgate Drive after Sgt. Johnson stopped a Chevrolet Camaro being driven by 17-year-old Nathan Clay Birdwell of Sarepta, LA.

Bossier City authorities reported the car was stopped at a red light going the wrong direction.

"Facing the wrong direction in the in-bound lanes of traffic going into Barksdale Air Force Base. Basically, facing westbound in the eastbound entrance lanes," Natale said.

When the officer approached the vehicle, 20-year-old Malik Wortham of Springhill, LA allegedly pointed a handgun at the officer from the passenger seat. Johnson fired his gun one time, wounding Wortham.

Wortham was taken to University Health in critical, but stable condition. Authorities have said his wound does not appear to be life-threatening.

Neither the driver nor the officer were injured.

Bossier City authorities say Sgt. Johnson wasn't wearing one of the dozen new body cameras currently being tested by Bossier City Police.

Wortham faces 1 count each of attempted first-degree murder and convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Birdwell was arrested on a charge of marijuana possession.

According to the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office, Birdwell posted his $10,000 bond and has been released.

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