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Family of fallen Draper police officer talk about his life legacy

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - The family of a fallen Draper police officer are coming together to talk openly about their loss. Wednesday they visited the ABC 4 Utah studios to share what believe will be his legacy of life.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - The family of a fallen Draper police officer are coming together to talk openly about their loss. Wednesday they visited the ABC 4 Utah studios to share what believe will be his legacy of life.

"That's the only thing I ever remember him wanting to be was a police officer," said Desirae Johnson, sister.

Wednesday, the family of fallen Draper police Sgt. Derek Johnson is sharing their fondest memories of his life.

"He had an ability to tease you and tease and tease, after his brothers would beat him up you'd think he was all done and had enough, but he'd still come back and tease some more," said Randy Johnson, father.

Those memories are now all his family has left. Sgt. Johnson was shot and killed Sunday morning. Police believe it was at the hands of Troy Walker, who allegedly also shot Traci Vaillancourt, before turning the gun on himself.

"Sgt. Johnson was on routine patrol and was essentially gunned down in the seat of his patrol car," said Jim Winder, Salt Lake County Sheriff.

But as difficult as it is to lose him, his family isn't focusing on grief.

"I don't think this is about pain, this is about resolving the loss of a noble man," said Darin, Johnson, brother.

The family tells Reporter Brian Carlson that Sgt. Johnson had a smile that lit up the room. He was fun loving, and loved serving others as a police officer.

"It didn't matter who you are, he provided justice fairly to all," said Dayson Johnson, brother.

"He died for what he loved," said Devin Johnson, brother.

They said the ribbons, flags, flowers and tributes haven't gone unnoticed. The family wants people to know they're grateful the community cares about them and the man they called their brother and their son.

"It's been very heart warming to see this support from within and externally it's been almost overwhelming to see the support and love that we've gotten, it is incredible," said Darin Johnson.

If you'd like to attend the funeral, it will now be held Friday at 11:00 a.m. at the Maverick Center in West Valley City. A procession will follow.

If you'd like to make a donation to the family, you can do that at any Wells Fargo Bank, just mention the "Sgt. Johnson Memorial Fund".

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Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @briancarlsontv
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