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Sergeant Derek Ray Johnson | Draper Police Department, Utah Draper Police Department, Utah


Derek Ray Johnson

Draper Police Department, Utah

End of Watch: Sunday, September 1, 2013

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 32

Tour: 8 years

Badge # 8

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Attempted suicide

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Sergeant Derek Johnson was shot and killed when he stopped to check on a vehicle parked on the side of South Fort Street shortly before 6:00 am.

A male subject in the vehicle immediately opened fire on Sergeant Johnson, shooting him before he was able to exit his patrol car. Despite being mortally wounded, Sergeant Johnson was able to radio a distress call. Responding units and medical personnel performed CPR until a helicopter arrived to transport him to Intermountain Medical Center, where he succumbed to his wounds.

The male subject also shot a female acquaintance inside of their vehicle before shooting himself. Both were transported to a local hospital in critical condition. The two were transients, with criminal records, who were living out of the vehicle.

The shooter was officially charged with criminal homicide, aggravated murder, and attempted homicide, as well as three additional counts of felony discharge of a firearm and one count of possession of a weapon by a restricted person. The female acquaintance was charged with two counts of obstructing justice.

Sergeant Johnson had served with the Draper Police Department for eight years. He is survived by his wife and 7-year-old son.

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Only a few short weeks before this beloved American son, husband and father was fatally shot while conducting a routine parked vehicle inspection while on his way to end a long shift, I left the Sandy, Utah area to move back to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. I lived here in what locals call the "Roaring Fork Valley all during the 1990's. On one occasion during the ski season in nearby Aspen I worked for the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office as the Airport Deputy Sheriff and grew to so completely love this area.
Since my short tour of duty with the Park County, Colorado SO I began what would be a joyful and tremendously rewarding hobby. I collected from LEO departments in Nevada, Utah and Colorado shoulder patches that I placed on a leather jacket I own which also bears many of the patches and insignia of the units I served in during the Vietnam Era as a proud soldier in the United States Army (Regular).
It was sometime near early to mid July of 2013 that I got to know some of the uniformed officers of all the agencies in Southern Salt Lake County. I am LDS and at the time was serving as an Ordinance Worker in the Draper Temple and remember well being thrilled to see uniform units on routine patrol which to me in such a religious community only served to reinforce lessons learned during the Vietnam Era; “Walk softly but carry a big stick”.
On one occasion around mid July 2013 I happened upon a few Draper LEO's at the Draper PD parking lot and as a licensed CCW holder with very close ties to so many of America's finest in the area it was a joy to just visit as great men were in the process of changing shifts.
Expressing my love for the collection of patches from departments in Utah and Kansas, where my son was then an LEO for the Western Shoshone Dept. of Public Safety, I had the great honor of meeting a young man in his early 30's who was a supervisor with the City of Draper. His name was Derek Ray Johnson. Sgt. Johnson reached into his duty bag and presented me with a City of Draper patch which I proudly wear to this day in loving memory of a real American Hero. I wear it just below my patch for the US Army 2nd Infantry Division. The US Army 2ID patch is forever etched upon my soul. I trained with the unit at Ft. Benning, Ga. in the 1960's and my best friend from high school, Billy Lamb, was wearing the patch when an NVR (North Vietnamese Regular) soldier's Russian made weapon took his life in a rice patty. Billy and I joined on the "Buddy Plan" and were proud to serve. I came home with scratches and bruises - Billy came home in a coffin.
I will forever honor the memory of America's finest. I will forever love and respect Sgt. Derek Johnson and wear his patch with chest out and head held high for I believe with every fiber of my being the lesson taught in the Book of John: "Greater love hath no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends."
To the enemies of all good Americans, to those who hate great men like these for doing what has to be done when it has to be done and with the visions of the faces of Billy and Sgt Johnson burned into my mind I repeat the motto of the 2nd Infantry Division, United States Army: " "NOLI ME TANGERE", "DO NOT TOUCH ME". Rest in peace and thank you for placing upon the alter of freedom so great a sacrifice.

Proud father of a Barber, Co. Kansas Sheriff's Dept. deputy and myself a former Detentions Deputy for the Park County, Colorado Sheriff's Dept.
December 30, 2014


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