SALT LAKE CITY — Traci Vaillancourt spoke publicly for the first time since her former boyfriend, Timothy Walker, shot and killed Draper Police Sgt. Derek Johnson.
During a phone interview from the Salt Lake County Jail Wednesday, Vaillancourt called her longtime romantic relationship with Walker "a mess." She said she and Walker had been a couple since they were 12 years old, and they have a 6-year-old child named Sophie.
"I never would have ever imagined him doing something like this, ever," Vaillancourt said.
She read a letter she wrote to Walker: "I love you, Troy, with everything I have in me. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss you."
"I forgive you for the years of physical, mental and emotional abuse," she continued. "I forgive you for putting the bullet in my back that almost took my life."
But in the letter, Vaillancourt refused to forgive Walker for shooting and killing Johnson.
"We may never know why you did what you did. For me, I've stopped asking why and just accepted it, because even if I knew, it doesn't excuse it," she wrote. "It doesn't lessen the hurt. It doesn't make any sense."
Walker, a known drug user, had been using drugs the night before the shooting. Vaillancourt said the couple had spent all their money on pain medication. She said her addiction to prescription drugs began when she was diagnosed with a terminal blood disorder called Hereditary Angioedema, an illness that causes her body to swell.
Over the last 10 months while behind bars, Vaillancourt said she's stopped using pain medications to manage her symptoms. She said she plans to live a new life.
"I don't want to have anything to do with him anymore," she said.
Vaillancourt offered her apologies to Johnson's family but said it wouldn't be enough.
"I pray for them every night," she said.