Family, friends of fallen officer hold 5K to raise funds for others

Posted at 2:36 PM, Nov 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-02 16:41:24-04

DRAPER, Utah -- Police officers put on their running shoes to raise money and pay tribute to a fellow officer who fell in the line of duty earlier this year.

Sgt. Derek Johnson's family and friends held a 5K run Saturday morning at Draper City Park, 12500 South 1300 East, to say thank you to the community and to donate the proceeds to families who've gone through the same thing.

Derek’s wife, Shante Johnson, said the support of others has been helpful.

“You can't describe that feeling,” she said. “It's just overwhelming. It's what gets me through, knowing that everyone is still really thinking about us and praying for us.”

It's been two months since Sgt. Johnson fell in the line of duty. He died from injuries sustained after being ambushed when he stopped to check on a vehicle parked at an unusual angle.

Johnson’s sister, Desirae Payne, said she is grateful for those who serve.

“He loved what he did, so for me I never saw it as a sacrifice until the second that we lost him, and then you realize what a true sacrifice his choice to be a police officer is,” she said. “It makes me grateful for what they do.”

The fallen officer's sister organized the 5K to raise money for an organization that takes care of fallen officers' families, called the 10-33 Foundation -- a service Johnson’s family used while waiting for life insurance.

“We felt like we wanted to donate that money back to them and help out other families in the future because that money was really a relief for us,” Payne said.