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Draper police officer killed; two people in critical condition
Tragedy » Sgt. Derek Johnson was ambushed Sunday as he stopped to check vehicle; a man and a woman are hospitalized.

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Johnson was hired in April 2004 as a Draper reserve officer and made a full-time officer eight months later. He was then promoted to sergeant in December 2012, working in patrol, community policing and investigations. He also received a community policing award that year.

"I’ve known Derek for many years," said Draper Mayor Darrell Smith. "He is one of the best and most qualified sergeants on our force. … Never have I spoken with Derek without recognizing his positive attitude and love for his work and serving the community of Draper."

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Johnson did a good job protecting his hometown, Goold added.

"Derek was just a good kid, a local kid," Goold said. "I remember going on outings with him. We had an annual pilgrimage out to Moab as men, a boys’ weekend thing. ... [The Johnsons] really were this great Draper family."

He leaves behind his wife and a young son.

The 1033 Foundation, which provides immediate financial assistance to the families of fallen officers, privately presented a $25,000 check to the Johnsons on Sunday afternoon.

"Every time a police officer dies in the line of duty, we’ll be there that day," said Ryan Walsh, a member of the board of advisers. The radio code 10-33 means an officer is in urgent need of help.

This is third time the Park City-based foundation has given such assistance. The first time was after the January 2012 death of Jared Francom, an Ogden police officer killed while serving a search warrant.

The second time was in June 2012, after Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Aaron Beesley died after falling from a cliff during a search and rescue mission near Mount Olympus.

"We’ve gone 13 months without a line-of-duty death," Walsh said. "We would have liked to go longer."

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Sunday afternoon, Nevah Stevenson left a bouquet of yellow roses on the steps of Draper City Hall. Stevenson, school advancement director at St. John’s the Baptist Elementary and Middle School and a Draper resident, saw a Facebook post about tying yellow ribbons around the city in Johnson’s honor — hence her color choice for the flowers.

"I have a heavy heart," she said. "I am praying for his family."

A note with the flowers reads: "Holding you in our hearts, Johnson family. May God bless officer Derek Johnson."

A candlelight vigil was held at 8 p.m. at Draper City Hall to honor and remember Johnson.


Twitter: @mikeypanda


Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC

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