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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Conrad Johnson Gunned Down in Silver Spring

Aired October 22, 2002 - 13:05   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Our Bob Franken is standing by in Aspen Hill, in Silver Spring, with the latest on what's taking place with the investigation.
Bob, hello.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Daryn.

You can see over my shoulder the bus. That was the one where Conrad Johnson was standing on the top step when he was gunned down. You can also see the woods next to it. That forested area has been the main focus of investigators searching.

There's a basketball court back there that is connected to the apartment complex across the street. Investigators were spotted by our producers early on marking evidence spots by that. Of course, we done the know what evidence. They also apparently took some sort of plaster of Paris, some sort of evidence they put on plaster of Paris, the type of thing they will do when they have tire tracks they want to examine or a footprint, something like that.

Anything beyond that, of course, would be speculative. Now, within the last half hour or so, they have really cut back on the number of investigators here. We saw a large group of police, all in uniform. So that would be Montgomery County Police, marching out of the area, getting into a command post bus, which took off. That had been proceeded by a helicopter that was flying very low overhead, a police helicopter taking a very, very, very close look at the scene, looking for anything that might have been missed from the ground. He was very close to the ground. It was a very loud helicopter, because it was so close. He would go over the area, pause for a long period of time and then move on. He hovered over this area for probably 10 to 15 minutes, clearly looking for any evidence that might have been missed on the ground.

Finally, the helicopter took off. As I said, the crime scene was reduced. That is to say many of the police officers left. They're not all gone. There's still investigators you can see up there, experts from Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, some federal officials, some from Montgomery County.

Now this all happened about seven hours ago, when the shooting was first reported, and police very quickly closed down the entire area, all the roads. This was quite a traffic mess for a while, as officers in black fatigues carrying what we would call submachine guns would stop each vehicle, didn't matter if they were just the white vans that they've looked for before, that type of thing, each and every vehicle, including motorcycles, and would search both the vehicle and the male drivers.

This is something that went on at least in this area, we witnessed it. But the traffic stoppages occurred on the interstate highways, the type of thing that are around here. Once again, whoever did the shooting was able to take advantage of surprise, the darkness and the fact that there was a complex web of roads that he could escape to, interstate highways of the like, and he got out of here quickly, so quickly he was able to evade capture by the police -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Bob Franken, thank you so much.

As we mentioned, a big effort to try to save this man's life. He was taken to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda nearby. Those efforts were in vain, however, and not long after he arrived, or a few hours after he arrived, he was pronounced dead.

Our Bill Delaney is standing by at the hospital with more on that.

Bill, hello.

BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Daryn.

And hello to you. Yes, it was 6:40 this morning when Conrad Johnson arrived here, medevaced here by helicopter, operated on, one can imagine with a certain degree of desperation for hours before he died.

In the past couple of hours here, we learned that Conrad Johnson came from a very large extended family, a few dozen members of that family at least have come to this hospital, and now hospital spokespeople tell us all the family has left.

Conrad Johnson, 35 years old, the father of two. He woke up very early this morning to do his bus route, an unimaginable day for the Johnson family, this large extended family. We don't expect any more briefings here, Daryn. The scene has gone quite quiet here at Suburban Hospital now that Conrad Johnson has been lost.

Back to you.

KAGAN: Bill Delaney, thank you so much.

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