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Man killed by Bonner County deputies was a Priest Lake-area real estate agent

UPDATED: Thu., Sept. 28, 2017, 1:17 p.m.

An Idaho State Police vehicle sits at a roadblock near the scene of a deadly, officer-involved shooting near Coolin, Idaho on September 26, 2017. (Peter Maxwell / KHQ)
An Idaho State Police vehicle sits at a roadblock near the scene of a deadly, officer-involved shooting near Coolin, Idaho on September 26, 2017. (Peter Maxwell / KHQ)

The man shot by Bonner County Sheriff’s deputies in Coolin, Idaho, Tuesday has been identified as 50-year-old Craig A. Johnson, who worked from home as a real estate agent and at a bar down the street one night a week.

Idaho State Police investigators overseeing the case have released little information into the shooting. Initial reports indicate deputies went to Johnson’s home to serve a felony arrest warrant when he “exhibited hostile behavior to the deputies” and was shot, according to ISP. He died in the back of an ambulance on the way to a nearby medical helicopter. The deputies reported that he was armed at the time of the shooting.

Johnson did not have a prior criminal record. The case involving the warrant has been sealed and is not yet available to the public. However, the list of felony warrants on the Sheriff’s Office web page indicates that a warrant was issued Monday for aggravated assault on certain law enforcement. The bond is listed at $30,000.

Acquaintances described Johnson as a mild-mannered, easy-going man who never acted aggressively.

Brandy Torrisi, who has known Johnson since the 1980s, had her 50th birthday party at his house in Coolin last month. “Everybody knew him in town,” she said. “He’s always been an excellent, mild-mannered, cool guy.”

Johnson graduated from Mead High School in 1984.

As a young man, Johnson played rhythm guitar for Citizen Swing, a Spokane band fronted by Myles Kennedy that released two albums before disbanding in 1996. Kennedy launched Mayfield Four, with Johnson still on guitar. The band signed a record deal with Epic Records in 1996 and released two albums and a EP before splitting up in 2002. Johnson left the group before the second album was released, according to AllMusic.

In a Facebook post, Mayfield Four bass player Marty Meisner lamented the death of his childhood friend. “I never had the chance to tell Craig how much I have missed him,” he wrote. “I never had the chance to sit down with him and let him know what an amazing part of growing up he played in my life.”

Johnson had been married for nearly 15 years and was an involved father to his wife’s daughter from a previous relationship, but didn’t have children of his own, Torrisi said. He would meet up with his extended family in Montana every year for a weeklong hunting trip.

Johnson was licensed as an agent through the Idaho Real Estate Commission. He worked for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services First Look Real Estate in Spokane, but did most of his work from home and came to the office infrequently, said First Look office manager Jennifer Collins. He had worked for the company since 2008.

His wife, Robin Andrews, is an attorney. The couple still own property in Spokane.

Collins described Johnson as very kind and mellow, the type of guy that everyone got along with. She said when she heard the news of the shooting, she thought it couldn’t possibly be “their” Craig Johnson.

“We’re very surprised,” she said. “He was awesome. We’re totally in shock. It makes no sense.”

The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office referred all questions about the shooting to ISP. The ISP said Wednesday that it would not immediately be releasing any additional information in the case. The names of the deputies involved have not been released.