DRAPER — Sgt. Derek Johnson was a highly respected member of the law enforcement community, friends said. He leaves behind a wife and young son.
Those who knew Sgt. Johnson say two of the things he loved most in life were his family and being a police officer.
"He was a dedicated, devoted, and highly decorated police officer," Draper Police Spokesperson Brian Roberts said.
Sgt. Johnson grew up in Utah and graduated from Alta High School in 1999. While in high school he was an Explorer scout and worked as an intern for the Sandy City Police Department.
Utah State Representative Lee Perry was his supervisor when Johnson worked at the Sandy City offices.
"He was just getting out of high school when I was working with him," Perry said. "He was so focused and always wanted to be a police officer. He told everyone he was going to be an officer."
After High School Johnson married his high school sweetheart. Lee says he worked as a dispatcher and eventually went to the police academy.
For the past eight years he's been working for the Draper City Police Department.
"He was hired as a reserve officer in April of 2004 and later hired as a full time police officer in December of that year," Roberts said.
In 2012, Sgt. Johnson was honored with the Distinguished Service Medal for his work on an investigation involving a child abuse homicide.
There will be a candlelight vigil at Draper City Hall at 8 p.m. Sunday, in honor of Sgt. Johnson. All are invited to attend.