Exclusive: Wife of CMPD officer involved in deadly shooting speaks about his ‘heroic’ action

Published: Aug. 20, 2019 at 6:56 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - On Aug. 2, 2019, CMPD Officer John Juhasz responded to a domestic dispute on Ernest Russell Court in Charlotte.

When he arrived on scene, 55-year-old Delano Williams was holding his wife and sister-in-law at gunpoint.

Officer Juhasz shot and killed Williams.

His wife Heather spoke exclusively to WBTV about what it was like as a wife to get the phone call that he was involved in something like this.

She says in the 10 years he’s spent in law enforcement, he had never fired a weapon until that day, and as a wife she had never been more scared, or more proud.

Heather and John Juhasz met in college and have been together for 12 years.

John served seven years with NYPD.

In 2017, their family of four moved to Charlotte and John joined CMPD.

“When we moved here I felt my anxieties go down of him being a cop because I figured things would be better it wasn’t as crazy as New York City," Heather Juhasz said.

She says in some ways she was wrong.

“There’s a lot more domestic violence incidents here and those are actually the most dangerous for them,” she said.

On Aug. 2, she got the phone call she hoped she’d never get.

“Right away he says to me ‘I was in a shooting but I’m okay,’ and your heart kind of stops your brain goes into fast forward,” Heather said.

After registering the shock, she worried about potential backlash.

“That’s the last thing you should have to worry about but unfortunately in this profession you do,” she said.

She knew he killed a man who was holding his wife and sister-in-law at gunpoint.

In her heart, he did the right thing, and she soon learned the women involved agreed.

Keri Williams wrote these words in an op-ed for The Charlotte Observer:

“I have yet to meet the brave man, CMPD officer John Juhasz, who saved my life. But I think of him often. It took incredible skill and courage to pull the trigger. Had he delayed, even one or two seconds, my husband would have pulled his gun’s trigger first.”

“It’s very gratifying to see someone is actually appreciating police officers instead of condemning them,” Heather said.

She worries the backlash police officers get will make them second guess these decisions in the future.

“I’m sure there’s a lot of officers that worry about being judged and the repercussions of things and I just hope this doesn’t affect the way they do their jobs because if it does, who is going to be there to help all of us?” she said.

She also knows not everyone sees it this way.

“Do I believe there’s bad police officers?” she said. “Absolutely. But do I believe there’s bad doctors and teachers and every other profession? yes. But unfortunately police officers get publicized and the action of one affects the profession of many,” Heather said.

She wants people to see officers as humans just trying to serve and protect.

“He sees things that we could never imagine seeing in our lives and he knows that in some of these situations hes making a difference,” she said.

When the shooting happened, Officer Juhasz had actually already given notice to CMPD that he’d be leaving the department.

This shooting happened when he had only 16 hours left as an officer.

Juhasz says he is headed into a career outside of policing, but plans to keep his certification as a reserve officer.

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