Memorial for fallen officer grows as funeral services approach

Posted at 5:31 PM, Sep 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-04 19:31:52-04

DRAPER, Utah – Family, friends and the community are mourning as preparations are underway regarding funeral services for a Draper police officer who was gunned down in the line of duty.

Even before the funeral, a memorial in honor of Sgt. Derek Johnson has been growing.

A memorial has been in place at Draper City Hall since the day Johnson was killed, but a new monument has sprung up at the spot where Johnson crashed his vehicle after the shooting. Those in the community said they are paying their respects to the fallen officer, as well as his family and those who serve in law enforcement positions.

Carrie White was one of those who came to the memorial to honor Sgt. Johnson.

"We wanted to come by today to pay homage to him and his family and the city of Draper, because this is a real tragedy in our area here,” White said. “You just wouldn't expect anything like this to ever happen here. It's really, really sad."

Hannah White felt the same way.

"It's horrible that this would have to happen to someone, and it's just heartbreaking, honestly, it is,” she said.

The monument of American flags, flowers, candles and other items brought by well-wishers has been growing as members of the community come to pay their respects.

Johnson will be laid to rest Friday in Salt Lake City. The funeral will be held at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, and it will begin at 11 a.m. A public viewing will be held at the Maverik Center on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Draper City officials have set up a memorial fund for Johnson, and there are two ways to donate. An account called the “Sergeant Johnson Memorial Fund” has been established at Wells Fargo, and donations can be given at any Wells Fargo location. Donations can also be made at a website called my dad’s a hero.