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Published On: Wed, Sep 4th, 2019

Saint Louis Man, Johnzell Moorehead Pleads Guilty to Shooting Federal Officer

Johnzell Moorehead, 29, of Saint Louis, MO, pleaded guilty to one count of discharging a firearm in furtherance of assaulting a federal law enforcement officer.  Moorehead appeared today before U.S. District Judge John A. Ross who accepted his plea and set his sentencing date for December 6, 2019.

According to the plea agreement and among other things, Moorehead, his girlfriend, and an associate, Daryaun Wines, were travelling inside a vehicle in the early morning hours of October 12, 2017.  The group was being followed by two additional associates who were in a separate vehicle.  Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Federal Officer Archie Shaw was on-duty and, as part of an on-going investigation, began to follow the second of the two vehicles.  Special Federal Officer Shaw was utilizing an unmarked law enforcement vehicle.

Photo/Steve Buissinne

Moorehead noticed Special Federal Officer Shaw’s vehicle.  Moorehead, his girlfriend, and Wines split-up from their other associates (who were being followed by Special Federal Officer Shaw).  The vehicle being followed by Special Federal Officer Shaw led Special Federal Officer Shaw to the intersection of Miami and Iowa streets within the City of Saint Louis.  As Special Federal Officer Shaw drove through the intersection, Moorehead and Wines shot Special Federal Officer Shaw.  Moorehead and Wines travelled to that location for the purpose of committing the shooting.

Special Federal Officer Shaw’s vehicle was struck several times by the gunfire.  Special Federal Officer Shaw himself was also struck by gunfire.  After being shot, Special Federal Officer Shaw was able to drive himself to safety.  Moorehead and his associates fled the area.

Under the firearm charge, Moorehead faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years up to life in prison.  In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.  As part of the plea agreement, the parties have agreed to recommend a 25-year sentence at the time of Moorehead’s sentencing.

In addition to Moorehead’s conviction, this on-going investigation into the shooting of Special Federal Officer Shaw also resulted in the federal convictions of Daryaun Wines; Paris Gordon; Don Collins; Joseph Paster; Clifton Hudson; and Darlene Calhoun.

“Police Officer Shaw has provided nearly 30 years of dedicated service to the citizens of Saint Louis.  The courage he exhibited in this incident, demonstrates his level of commitment to the protection of the community,” said Chief John Hayden, Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department.  “The Saint Louis Police Department truly appreciates the support and assistance we receive from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI and all our federal partners.”

“Mr. Moorhead and Mr. Wines ambushed FBI Special Federal Officer Shaw as he was simply doing his job, a dangerous job requiring courage and dedication.  When any officer is threatened or attacked, the Department of Justice is committed to holding accountable anyone directly or indirectly involved.  We hope Mr. Moorehead’s case, along with the other individuals charged and convicted during the course of this on-going investigation makes that clear,” said Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Rea after today’s proceeding.

The Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is investigating this case.

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