Former officer survives "hit", takes story to Washington - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Former officer survives "hit", takes story to Washington

By Jody Barr - bio | email

LEE COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A Lee County Correctional Officer survived being shot six times after an attack at his home.

The State Law Enforcement Division says the officer was the target of a hit called in by an inmate inside a Lee County prison cell.

Now, he wants Congress to change the law, and prevent prison cell calls from going through.

Corrections Capt. Robert Johnson nearly lost his life after a gunman busted through his door and put six bullets in him.

"I was in my other bedroom getting ready for work and he kicked the door in. He yelled, 'Police!' And I came out to meet him and I was wondering what was going on and we met in the hallway," said Johnson.

Johnson says he blacked out and doesn't remember the shots that ripped through his chest and stomach.

The FBI and SLED are investigating the shooting. Investigators think Johnson was the target of a hit ordered from inside Lee Correctional by an inmate using a smuggled in cell phone.

"They're creating new victims, even from behind bars," said Department of Corrections director Jon Ozmint.

Ozmint's spent the past couple years working to block cell signals inside prison walls.

Federal Communications Commission laws don't allow anyone except federal authorities to "jam" cell signals. Ozmint says if state prisons could jam cell phones from the inside, people like Capt. Robert Johnson could help stop people like Robert Johnson from becoming a victim.

"Like one inmate said, he's got 24/7 to think of ways to out smart me," said Johnson.

After more than a decade trying to stop contraband from getting inside Lee Correctional, Johnson says he'd go back to work tomorrow if he could.

This case is now in the hands of federal investigators. Johnson couldn't talk about the specifics of his case, but he says investigators told him they do have suspects.

Meanwhile, Ozmint says he's taking Johnson's case to Congress to get cell phone jamming laws changed.

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved.

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