The ex-college football player who allegedly cut down a jogger at random in Dallas Monday is said to have called in the killing on his own, then confessed to the grisly attack to an officer, Dallas police said Tuesday.
The officer was one of several who responded to numerous calls about a stabbing along the White Rock Creek Trail at Harry Moss Park, police said.
Johnson, sitting near the crime scene next to a concrete pillar, told the officer "I just committed capital murder. I just committed capital murder," police said Tuesday. When the officer asked the man what he meant by the statement, Johnson responded, "It's like when you don't wake up."
Earlier in the morning, at about 7:55 a.m., police said Johnson approached a man, whom police identified Tuesday as 53-year-old David Stevens, jogging along the trail and struck him in the head multiple times with a "large-bladed knife."
A witness to the slaying, who wished to be identified only as Brandon, told NBC 5 Monday that he saw a man strike another man several times with a "machete." As he rode past on his bike, Brandon said the attacker yelled for him to stop but that he kept going. Once a safe distance away, Brandon stopped and called 911.
According to police, Johnson left the trail after the slaying and asked a man, later identified by Dallas police as Jason Hagen, if he could use his mobile phone to call 911. During the call, Johnson reported "an unknown individual was laying down with a sword in his head and not moving."
Johnson then took Hagen and another man, identified by police as Jonathan Lawrence, to the spot under the overpass where the victim's body was found.
Dallas Fire-Rescue would arrive a short time later, find Stevens as described by the 911 caller and transport him to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Dallas police officers arrived at the crime scene as paramedics were leaving with Stevens. Police say that as one of the officers approached the scene, Johnson, sitting near the pillar, said, "I need to talk to you." The officer asked Johnson to wait for a moment while he spoke with DFR personnel.
After Johnson told the officer he'd committed a murder, the officer placed him under arrest and noticed blood on his pants. During the arrest, police said Johnson was issued his Miranda warning and voluntarily waived his right to remain silent and agreed to talk with detectives. During that interview, police said Johnson again confessed to the slaying.
Johnson, who was listed as homeless in the arrest warrant affidavit released by police Tuesday, allegedly told investigators he was angry about his current living situation and picked Stevens at random.
Johnson has prior felony convictions, but none for violent crimes. On Jan. 9, he pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of a vehicle and to burglary of a habitation. He was sentenced to four years probation on both offenses and fines of $3,500. The Dallas County Sheriff's Department had two outstanding warrants for Johnson on the same offenses, with bond being set at $200,000.
At this time, a bond amount on the murder charge has not been disclosed and jail records do not list an attorney on record.
Johnson, who grew up in Dallas, played football for Texas A&M University in College Station in 2012. In his short collegiate career, he had three catches for 22 yards in A&M's 29-24 win at top-ranked Alabama. He disappeared from College Station a few days later and wasn't seen again until he appeared at his family's Dallas home three days later. He never returned to A&M.