Sgt. Derek Johnson remembered for his smile, devotion to family
Outside the Maverik Center, the digital sign above the main entrance displayed the words: "All gave some, some gave all. Thank you Sgt. Derek Johnson."
The electronic marquee overlooking I-215 displayed a picture of Johnson with the words, "In memory of " American flags were set up all around the property. At the front doors to the arena, a large U.S. flag hung between two fire department ladder trucks with their buckets lifted into the air.
"I just get a rush of emotions," Roberts said, with red and glassy eyes, reflecting on the show of support from the community and the law enforcement brotherhood. "To see all these flags that are displayed out here, you can't help but get a rush and to feel that. And this reminds you of the duty we have in public safety and the risk that we take. And we do that freely. We know the consequences. But we do it for a higher purpose. We do it to serve the communities we love so much."
Roberts described the viewing as a somber atmosphere.
"The family is greeting those that have come from the community and people are hugging and embracing. It's a beautiful tribute to Derek," he said.
Following Friday's funeral service, the interment will be held at Larkin Mortuary, 1950 E. 10600 South.
"This hurts so much. But we'll move forward. That's what we do in law enforcement. We serve the community, and that's our mission. That mission will never stop," Roberts said.
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