UPDATE: Public funeral services for Officer Michael Johnson have been set for 11am April 2 at the SAP Center.
Outside the San Jose Police Department, a black banner emblazoned with Officer Michael Johnson‘s face and badge number marks his end of watch: March 24, 2015.
Beneath it, a collection of flowers, notes and candles continues to grow. A steady stream of visitors pay their respects.
The memorial in front of the SJPD keeps growing. Thanks to all who have expressed their sympathy. pic.twitter.com/ARo7fytauX
— San Jose Police Dept (@SanJosePD) March 27, 2015
Nearby Burnett Middle School paid homage to the fallen officer with a special message on its marquee.
On Wednesday, a procession of police, family and community members paid tribute to Johnson by lining the streets while his body was escorted from the coroner’s office to a funeral home in Los Gatos. A cohort from the Santa Cruz Police Department, which lost a pair of officers in the line of duty two years ago, came with flowers.
Meanwhile, community members have organized a number of vigils and tributes to memorialize Johnson, who was gunned down Tuesday night by a man with a high-powered rifle—the department’s first line-of-duty death in 14 years.
The first memorial is set for 6:30pm tonight on the 2600 block of Senter Road in San Jose, right outside the apartments where police say a suicidal gunman killed the officer.
“The ultimate sacrifice of Office Michael Johnson is a painful reminder of the risk of injury and even death that our officers must face every day while providing safety to our residents,” said Thuy Dang, president of the United Viet American Neighbors, the group organizing the gathering. “We can never forget the selfless service and ultimate sacrifice of these brave men and women in uniforms.”
A second vigil starts tonight at 8 outside City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose.
“We have suffered a very devastating loss to our community, and we need to show Office Johnson’s family and the SJPD that we support them,” said Kathleen Flynn, president of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association, the group pulling together the City Hall vigil with the Star of David Ministries.
Earlier today, from noon to 2pm, CreaTV is opening its downtown San Jose studios, 255 W. Julian St., so the public can share their thoughts on what Johnson’s death means to them. Those messages will be cablecast on Channel 30.
San Jose Shark and co-owner of the Brittania Arms Owen Nolan will host a fundraiser in support of the officer’s family from 11am to 2pm April 2 at the pub, 5027 Almaden Expressway, also in San Jose.
Throughout, the San Jose Police Officers Association has received an outpouring of support for Johnson’s family, to help pay for burial costs and other expenses. To make a donation online, or for information on where to send a check, click here.
Johnson was fatally shot late Tuesday after responding to a 9-1-1 call about a possibly drunk suicidal man with access to a couple of handguns and a high-powered rifle.
Upon arriving to the apartment just before 7 that evening, Johnson was met with a bullet fired from a second-story balcony. The shooter: 57-year-old retired college custodian Scott Dunham, who had a history of mental illness and domestic violence.
Dunham died from a round fired back by Officer Doug Potwora, a 16-year veteran and one of the first cops on scene with Johnson.
Johnson is survived by his wife. The couple had no children.
— San Jose Police Dept (@SanJosePD) March 26, 2015