Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Duane Curtis Johnson

Los Angeles Police Department, California

End of Watch Wednesday, December 19, 1984

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Reflections for Police Officer Duane Curtis Johnson

It was about a 30-hour long crime scene investigation and we were all extremely saddened by the loss of Officer Johnson, meanwhile, waiting anxiously for news on the condition of Archie Nagao. It was bitter cold and pouring rain. The jewelry store was multi-level with lots of tiny little rooms and at one point, there was concern that one of the suspects may be hiding inside while we were processing the scene. This was one of the most physically and emotionally exhausting scenes I ever worked. Almost all of us came down with a bad case of the flu within a week, but we were the fortunate ones. Duane gave his life trying to help when he and Archie were ambushed by robbers masquerading as store employees. Rest in eternal peace Officer Duane Johnson. God bless you and Archie for your committment to service.

Laboratory Director Doreen Hudson
Los Angeles Police Department Scientific Investigation Division

December 22, 2013

In Memory of Police Officer Duane C. Johnson. EOW 12/19/84.
Please pause for a moment today and remember the sacrifice of our Brother Duane Johnson; who passed away 29 years ago today. Remember his wife Kathleen and his Daughter, who was born just weeks after his death. Also remember the bravery of his partner Archie Nagao; who was seriously wounded in that shootout in Chinatown. I was deeply touched by this event, because it was Captain Billy Wedgeworth and I who delivered the devastating news to Kathleen in her parent's living room. In 27 years with the Department; it was the most difficult thing I ever did.
Give Thanks and recognition to everyone who responded to that horrific scene. Especially Central Patrol Officers and Robbery-Homicide Detectives; who worked relentlessly to capture the surviving suspects and bring some degree of justice.
Rest in Peace Dewey; and know you will NEVER be forgotten.
Husband, Father, Son, Brother, Police Officer, and Marine.
Semper Fidelis.

Sergeant Bill Tiffany
Los Angeles Police Dept. - Retired

December 20, 2013

Dewey it has been a long time, Semper Fi. We know you are in Heaven. All DIs told us you go to hell once and we had been there in Boot Camp. God Bless your family. I know you always wanted to be an officer at LAPD.

Corporal Joseph Savone

April 27, 2013

To Glenmore Wong,
Thank you so much for caring enough to make a reflection about my brother. How could you have picked up that copy of LA Downtown News when that particular story was in it? Amazing how things happen. I was there for the purple heart ceremony.
I have often wondered how you are as well, such a traumatic, horrific and unexpected tragedy for you.

You reacted instinctively and I commend you for trying to aid and comfort Duey. Thank you for giving me a better vision of what happened. Duey would be so happy to know that you were able to avoid the crossfire in such a chaotic scene.
Thanks to all the officers and civilians here who have made rememberances throughout the years.

Hey Bro....this past date of Dec. 19 , I was on the road and thinking very much of you as I was delivering a load of bikes to the 29 Palms USMC base for their Toys for Tots program, my second year doing this. In my mind, I was doing this in honor and recognition of you.

Love Always,

Donna Johnson Culwell

January 14, 2013

I remember this like it was yesterday. I did not know Duane but Archie survived and this incident got us better weapons. Sorry he was lost in this.

Detective Frank Barkowski
LAPD Detective Support Division Gang Activity Section

December 21, 2012

I remember Duane as a happy, caring young man. He was a fine officer.

Sgt Buff Crossley

December 20, 2012

I was one of Duane"s training officers when he came to Hwd. He was a great officer.

Sgt. Bob Plassmeyer

December 19, 2012

I will always remember you on this day- I used to leave you a rose at old PAB but since my illness I can no longer make that trek. When I retired I had a drink for you. I hope your children will know how much you still mean to those of us who have survived the job. Rest in Peace my friend we will hopefully see you when it is our turn to go EOW

DII Vic Corella # 22416

December 19, 2012

I worked with Duey before he transferred to Central Division. I never saw someone, so in love with his job. Duey's dedication for the job, his lovely family and to his friends was an inspiration. I was working that day and responded to the call in China Town. I was floored when I spoke to an officer at the scene and he told me.
I attended the funeral in Brea and it was fitting for a hero. EV Free Fullerton was filled to the rafters with cops from all over the United States. They were there to pay their respect to Duey.
There isn't a week that goes by that I don't think about Duey.
God Bless you Duey.
Jack Struble
Los Angeles Police Department

Jack Struble-Detective (Retired)
Los Angeles Police Deparmtnet

December 19, 2012

Rest in Peace Dewy--I remember this day all too well--what an awful day when you went away


December 19, 2012

I still think back to the days when we worked a footbeat togeather, and worked the ChinaTown beat.
That day you, and Archie were working together is still in my mind (being one of the first units at the seen), and I wonder sometimes how things might have been different.
All these years have gone bye, but I still think of you from time to time ................ rest in peaace friend.

Officer 17237
LAPD - old partner

October 17, 2012

Rest in Peace, Officer Johnson. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

January 14, 2012

"Greater love has no man than this, “that a man lay down his life for his friends."

John 15:13

Thank you for you service and sacrifice Officer Johnson! You and your family are in thoughts and prayers.

Deputy Chief Paul Philipps
Parsippany Police Parsippany NJ

December 20, 2011

Funny why things happen.

I work DownTown and only occassionally pick up a copy of the LA DownTown News for lunchtime reading. The other day I did and I happened to read the article on the LAPD Purple Hearts with the picture of the family of Duane Johnson. Seeing the article prompted me to google his name and this is how I came here.

I was one of the customers in the jewelry shop during the robbery and that I am alive today is due in some part to the brave and heroic actions of Officers Johnson and Nagano.

I want to relay an observation I made at the time that I hope will give some comfort to surviving relatives of Officer Johnson.

After the shooting stopped, I went to see what I could do for the fallen officer(s). In my mind, neither of them could have survived the ferocious surprise attack. I did not look forward to seeing the aftermath but I was stuck by what I saw. There was a sense of peace surrounding Officer Duane. It was as if God himself came in the midst of complete chaos to comfort him. No blood, not a hair out of place, no evidence of the terror that had just passed. It was like he was taking a nap. Small kids sometimes sleep this way, on their knees, arms tucked under their chest, cheek to bed. The body of one of the bad guys was nearby, a bloody mess, deservedly so.

RIP, Officer Duane Johnson.

Glenmore Wong

Glenmore Wong

September 21, 2011

Yesterday, September 15th, 2011, LAPD awarded it's service members who were wounded or killed in the line of duty with a Purple Heart.

It was my honor to accept it on your behalf.


Rachel Claire

Rachel Johnson

September 16, 2011

It is a done deal Duey, I am now retired!! 30 years service. It was a great ride and I wouldn't change a thing! You were at my retirement celebration in spirit and my heart. Dorothy is good as are your nephews Ryan and Nickolas who have turned into two fine young men. I communicate with Rachel alot she is doing fine!
We miss and love you!!!!

MPO Dana Johnson,retired
VA Beach Police,VA, twin brother

September 8, 2011

On Thursday May 5,2011 Dorothy and I will be attending the local police week memorial ceremony sponspred by the LAPD. We have been getting invitations to go since 1985. Ironically we will be there the same year I will be retiring.
On Thursday September 1,2011 I will retire from the Virginia Beach Police Dept with 30 years service. This is also the same day in 1981 that we started out on our respective agencies. It does not seem that a little over 27 years ago we lost you. The time has flown by !
Thanks to everyone who have posted on Duey's page and other officers pages as well.
Stay Safe !!!

MPO Dana W. Johnson,Twin brother
Virginia Beach Police

May 2, 2011

I never got to meet you, but I have worked with Dana, your twin brother, for over a decade. He is a dedicated officer and he talks about you often. He was the school resource officer at my sons school and made sure he stayed in line for me during the school day. I work robbery here in the city and know it was a robbery call that took you from your family and brothers in blue. Just know that your ultimate sacrifice has not been forgotten and there are many of us that have taken up the cause that you laid the groundworks for. RIP and know we have the watch.

Detective Bill Frederick
Virginia Beach Police Department

March 15, 2011

Another year has gone by,26 to be exact. As always it seems like yesterday.
I recently reviewed an email from LAPD 77th Div. Sgt Tim O'Gorman. It was a info letter to the deparment with a headline marking the anniversary of your line of duty death.It is so nice they put that on.
As usual December is not the best month for me but I get thru it. Happy belated 53rd birthday!
Your daughter Rachel is doing well, we communicate frequently. Dorothy is good, your nephews Ryan and Nickolas are doing well too!
You are always in our hearts !!!

MPO Dana W. Johnson
Virginia Beach Police(VA),Twin brother

December 20, 2010

On behalf of the members of the Boston Police department I would like to say that we remember our brother officer Duane and the sacrafice he made. RIP

Det. Michael Kane
Boston Police Dept.

December 19, 2010

Friday September 24th, while Dorothy her mother and I were in the LA area, I was able to conduct a ride-a-long with 77th Div. Sgt. Tim O'Gorman. The first officer I met upon entry was LAPD Off. Mora who after a few minutes conversation,was trying to figure out where he had seen my face before. I still run into officers, along with your sister Donna, who remember you and still have great things to say. It is so nice these people are there. After I told him my relationship to you,he realized who I was.He was almost speechless. He remebered you like it was yesterday. The ride-a-long was something I had wanted to do for a long time. "An interesting shift" was an understatement. We went by the the new police headqurters where I saw your badge along with all the other fallen officers badges and the memorial with your name on a goldern plate,the Police Academy, Chinatown, and finally Central Division where I finally was able to see your portrait hanging in the front lobby area along with other officers I recognized. Sgt O'Gorman took a nice picture of me with you.
It was a long day and one I'll never forget.We were out there to visit a very dear friend of Dorothy's who is ill with cancer.
Your two nephews are doing very well. Nick is a Deputy Sheriff and Ryan is a auto body tech.
I am in my final year with VA Beach and plan on retiring on the same day we came into police work, September 1st with 30 years service.
We all miss you and love you!!

MPO Dana W. Johnson
VA Beach PD,Twin brother

October 2, 2010

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 26th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer. he was also your fellow Marine so I also bid you semper fidelis.

I pray for the solace of all those who love and miss you for I know both the pain and pride are forever. Grateful to read that your murderer has been denied parole, and know your family and department will keep fighting for his continued incarceration.

Rest In Peace

Phylllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

August 9, 2010

To the family and friends of Officer Duane"Duey"Johnson,

You are a true hero and I would like to extend my thanks for for your service to our country as a proud Marine.

You showed true courage, bravery, and honor when you engaged the suspect that opened up fire on your partner.

You know a policeman is well liked by his partners when he is affectionatelycalled by his nickname. Your fellow officers truly admire your bravery and unselfish sacrifice.

Thank you for your dedication, commitment, and service to the community we serve as law enforcement officers.

There is a real thin blue, tan, and green line that makes us all one, there are no RD's and jurisdictions when it comes to a fallen brother.

Louis B. Lave, Deputy Sheriff
Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department

August 6, 2010

25 years.
25 years.
Duey, on the 25th anniversary of your death I am going to go to a very special function to remember fallen officers and military personnel with my old Mustang and the Beach Cities Mustang Club. I'm gonna wear my shirt that has a memorial to you with your name on it. I will come by the cemetery as well...
I miss you very much.

Donna Culwell

December 19, 2009

To Duey's family and friends;
I worked Central Division's Midday Footbeat Watch with Duey, and I will never forget him and his surviving partner, Archie Nagao. I will ever forget that rainy, miserable day, when my partner, Vicky Bynum, and I were in a black and white, driving near Central Market and that damnedest of all help calls came over the air - A civilian's wavering voice on Nagao's ROVER asked Communications for help for downed officers. Communications then put out the location of the call: Chinatown. I will never forget that shot of adrenaline and taking Bynum on that all-out sliding drive in the rain to get there. I remember the horrific scene at the location, which does not need recounting. I will never forget that Duey was a terrific guy and good police officer. I will never, ever forget.

Lew Parker, retired

December 9, 2009

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