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Family members share memories of fallen officer

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Posted at 9:11 PM, Sep 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-03 00:29:33-04

DRAPER -- The family of a Draper Police sergeant killed in the line of duty Sunday said they are overwhelmed by the community's outpouring of support.

Sgt. Derek Johnson was shot and killed as he approached a vehicle parked on Fort Street early Sunday morning.  Just one day later, his hometown of Draper has begun to honor him.

“To me, if anybody represents the red white and blue, it’s our police officers,” said Johnson’s aunt, Lori Johnson-Mastro.

Along city streets, neighbors tied ribbons around trees and posted flags on their front lawns in tribute to Johnson. The 32 year old had wanted to serve on the Draper Police force since he was a child and was thrilled when he landed a spot on the force in 2004.

“He was a peace maker, a peace maker as a brother, a peace maker in the family,” said Johnson-Mastro. “We’ve heard that from so many people. That’s what Derek was all about, peace. And he’s bringing peace in his life that he lived and even in his death.”

Johnson leaves behind his high school sweetheart, whom he married after graduating from Alta High School in 1999, and their six year old son.

“What a man he was and is,” said Johnson’s father, Randy Johnson. “We love him as a family. We’re going to sorely miss him. But he loved what he did, and he looked forward to being able to serve the community. His attitude was one of if I treat people with respect, even people that may be in a compromised position, that they’ve done something potentially wrong, if I treat them with respect, I’ll receive that same respect.”

Draper City Councilman Jeff Stenquist said on Facebook that services for Sgt. Johnson will take place Friday, September 6, 11 am at Sandy Southtowne Center and his interment will be at Larkins Sunset Gardens, Sandy.