Deputy Johnson was shot and killed while attempting to serve a warrant on a suspect wanted in Mississippi for kidnapping. Deputy Johnson and Sheriff Scott went to a residence where the suspect was reported to be. When they arrived they were told the suspect was not there, but Deputy Johnson began to search the residence. As he opened a door he was shot by the suspect.
The suspect fled the scene and remained at large for six years. He was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, for an unrelated assault and sentenced to 3.5 years on a chain gang. While on the chain gang he was identified as the murderer of Deputy Johnson through his fingerprints. He was returned to Pickens County where he was convicted of Deputy Johnson's murder and sentenced to death. He was executed on August 7, 1936.
Deputy Johnson was survived by his wife and two children.