HILLIARD, OH (WCMH) — Support for Officer Sean Johnson has overwhelmed the tight-knit community of Hilliard. There are blue ribbon tied to nearly every pole. There is also a constant stream of people, coming to lay flowers on his squad car at First Responders Park.
“I did not know him, but I grew up in Hilliard and he’s always protected my family and so I just wanted to pay some respect and drop off some flowers,” says Hilliard resident Melissa Michels.
Officer Tom Morris says support from the community has helped ease the pain.
“We appreciate them helping us through this horrible time,” he says.
Flowers, cards and treats line the hallways of the Hilliard Police Department. There are heartfelt notes left on Officer Johnson’s locker.
“It’s horrible when a police officer dies, but when it’s a police officer and somebody you work with it’s it’s just that much worse,” says Ofc. Morris. “If we were going on a major call, I’d want Sean to be with me because I knew he would have my back and he was somebody I felt safe with.”
Detective Chad Wood says Officer Johnson was his training officer seven years ago.
“One of the first things he said to me, he said ‘I’m not going to let you go down the wrong path. I got your back. I got your back,'” says Det. Wood. “I’ve said that to every single officer that I trained right off.”
He says Officer Johnson has left a lasting influence on the police officer he is today.
But, with his passing he says there’s no words to describe the pain their police family is feeling.
“We take our minds to so many places and this is not a place we like to take or minds,” says Det. Wood.
He remembers being out on calls with Officer Johnson.
“Myself and Shawn were dispatched to a call of a house fire with an elderly female in the house,” says Det. Wood. He says Officer Johnson instinctively rushed inside the home, billowing with smoke. Together, they rescued the woman and Officer Johnson ran back inside to put out the fire.
“He not only saved her life, but also saved her house too,” says Det. Wood. “He really made an impact on her life and me too.”
He says while being an amazing police officer, he was also an amazing father.
“Sean always made it a point when available to say good night to his children…Call them and say good night to them,” says Det. Wood. “Be there for him and be there for his family that’s important to us right now and want to try and grieve together and get through this.”
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