Ex-Sheriff Shoots Salesman, Mistaking Him for Hitman

Monica Johnson-Markwork, a 51-year-old former sheriff from Cordova, Tennessee, is facing charges after allegedly shooting a door-to-door salesman, mistaking him for a hitman. Johnson-Markwork, who has a son serving a 20-year prison sentence for child rape, claimed she believed a local gang had ordered a hit on her and her son, as reported by local Memphis news outlets.

The incident occurred just before noon on a Wednesday, when Johnson-Markwork spotted a man approaching her front door via her home security cameras. Believing the man was armed, she reportedly shouted, “They’re here,” before retreating to the attic of her suburban Memphis home.

However, the man at the door was not a hitman, but a pest control salesman armed with nothing more than an iPad. The salesman was shot in the chest and rushed to the hospital in critical but stable condition.

Investigators found that Johnson-Markwork had fired the weapon, thought to be her father’s, before fleeing to the attic. While she did not confess to firing the gun, law enforcement discovered the firearm in the crawl space where she had hidden, according to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

Johnson-Markwork was subsequently charged with felony aggravated assault in connection with the shooting. She was released from jail on a $4,000 bond and is due in court on October 13.

This is not Johnson-Markwork’s first brush with the law. She is a former captain of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, but was dismissed and indicted in 2016 on charges of misconduct and coercing a witness in her son’s rape case. She was released on a $20,000 bond at the time, and it remains unclear whether that case has been resolved.