Police: Love triangle erupts with armed standoff

December 15th, 2014 by Staff

Johnson (center) is being held on a bond of $700,000 and can have no contact with his wife or girlfriend.


(MyFoxDetroit) CENTER LINE, Mich. – A love triangle involving two Highland Park police officers ended with an armed standoff, and one of the officers has been charged with trying to kill his wife and another woman.

The domestic drama began when former Highland Park Police Reserve Officer James Johnson’s wife says she found a used condom in the trash last month. 

After the discovery, Vivian called Highland Park Officer Varee Roberson over to their Center Line house. She was angry James had been with yet another woman after the three of them had engaged in sexual activity together back in June. 

She claims the two women confronted James in the bedroom and the argument got heated fast. James started to attack Roberson, who he first met while he was on the Highland Park police force.

“She was like this, ‘James I got a son,’ that’s what she kept screaming,” Vivian says. “Before I knew it I saw the gun drawn. Here is the bullet hole right here.”

James fired and luckily missed his wife. He then left, but not for long.

According to court transcripts, the women took a bath together, got ready and just as they were walking out of the house James appeared in the garage with his gun drawn. Someone called Center Line police who were down the street and arrived in time.

James was pointing a gun at his wife and Roberson was pointing her gun at James.

“He was saying I am going to kill you, to both females,” says Lt. Tom Costello of the Center Line Police Department.

“Obviously, this is a very stressful situation and our officers deescalated it. They commanded the people to drop their weapons.

“It was a life and death situation, and if guns weren’t lowered could have been a very tragic outcome.”

James then barricaded himself inside his house. Officers were eventually able to coax him out and brought him into custody.
But this isn’t the first time police were called to their Center Line home. Vivian wanted us to conceal her identity, but we found her mug shot after we learned she was charged last summer for shooting at her husband.

Right around the same time, James resigned from the Highland Park police.

“I went to jail back in June because he and I got into it and, yes, I discharged my firearm. And I was dismissed without prejudice and now this,” she says. Vivian says this marriage is now over – but this case is far from it.

James learned Tuesday he’s heading to trial. As for officer Roberson, she is still on the job at Highland Park Police Department.

“I want her to pay as well,” Vivian says. “If he’s going to pay, she should pay.”

FOX 2 spoke to Highland Park Chief Kevin Coney who called it a personal issue and something that didn’t happen on the job. 

James Johnson was bound over for trial Tuesday with a bond set for $700,000 with no contact with his wife or girlfriend.


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