Identity, charges revealed for man who allegedly shot random cars driving by

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 6, 2024

ROWAN COUNTY — Deputies have released the identity of a man and his charges after they said that he was shooting at random cars driving past on the road.

The man was identified by a release from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office as 44-year-old Zackery Ryhan Johnson. He has been placed in the Rowan County Detention Center with no bond under charges of two counts of felony attempted first-degree murder, four counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, six counts of felony discharging a weapon into occupied property, two counts of misdemeanor assault on a government official and one count of misdemeanor resisting a public officer.

The incident that led to Johnson’s arrest began at approximately 8:38 p.m. on Saturday, when two deputies were driving in the 2300 block N.C. Highway 152 East and heard what sounded like gunfire and the sound of bullets hitting both of their vehicles, the release stated. They then reportedly began to search the area on foot and noticed a male in the yard of a home in the area, who was later identified as Johnson.

The deputies attempted to speak with Johnson, but he ignored them and went inside the home, according to the release. The deputies then reportedly knocked on the door for a few minutes until Johnson came out.

While speaking to Johnson about the gunshots, one of the deputies reportedly noticed a small-caliber rifle with a scope and .22-caliber ammunition on the ground in front of the residence. At some point during the questioning, Johnson allegedly attempted to get up and walk away, at which point the deputies reportedly attempted to detain him. Johnson twisted the finger and hand of one deputy and kicked another in an attempt to resist, according to the release.

Once Johnson was secured inside one of the deputies’ vehicles, they discovered that a third sheriff’s office vehicle had been hit by gunfire and were told by communications that there had been several reports of civilian vehicles being hit by bullets in the area, stated the release. In total, six vehicles were damaged by gunfire.

Johnson then began to suffer a medical issue, likely due to mixing prescription medication and alcohol, and was transported to Rowan Novant Medical Center for treatment, according to the release. He was released from the hospital on Tuesday and arrested by deputies.