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Tribune photo from fallen officer’s funeral earns national recognition

First Published      Last Updated Nov 25 2013 04:36 pm

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) l-r Draper Sgt. Pat Evans, Ben Johnson, 6, and Shante Johnson at the gravesite service for Shante's husband, Draper Police Sgt. Derek Johnson. Evans and Johnson were best friends throughout their childhood and joined the Draper force together. Johnson was laid to rest at Larkin Sunset Mortuary, September 6, 2013. Sgt. Johnson was shot by a transient after the 32-year-old officer pulled up in his patrol car to investigate the man’s vehicle. The suspect, Timothy Troy Walker, then shot his passenger, Traci Vaillancourt, and himself.

The photo tells the story instantly. It is photojournalism at its best.

You see the look on 6-year-old Ben Johnson's face and you feel for a moment what it's like to be a child at your father's funeral.

Tribune photographer Leah Hogsten captured the heart-wrenching image at the Sept. 6 graveside service for Draper Police Sgt. Derek Johnson, who was shot and killed by Timothy Troy Walker while investigating the man's vehicle. Walker later shot his own passenger before killing himself.

Also in the photo are Ben's mother Shante Johnson and Draper Sgt. Pat Evans, the fallen officer's best friend.

The Associated Press singled out Hogsten's work as the national photo of the month for September.

Another Utah photographer — Spencer Heaps of the the Daily Herald in Provo — also was a finalist for photos he shot at the same funeral.

You need only look at the spectacular gallery of finalists' photos to realize what an honor the award is for Hogsten — and for Johnson's family.

It's an exceptional photo in a category of great photojournalism.

The photo is also available on the Associated Press Media Editors Facebook page.



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