Police now say Sgt. Johnson came across a vehicle, a silver Volvo, which was parked in an usual manner at 13200 S. Fort Street. As Sgt. Johnson approached in his vehicle, the 34-year-old female and the 35-year-old male were with the Volvo. As Sgt. Johnson drove closer to inspect the situation the 35-year-old man began firing at Sgt. Johnson’s vehicle. Sgt. Johnson was hit and was able to drive a couple of blocks before veering off the side of the road and colliding with a tree. Sgt. Johnson was never able to return fire.
Police do not believe they have any outstanding suspects. Investigators believe at some time during the incident the 35-year-old male shot the 34-year-old woman, and after shooting Sgt. Johnson, the male suspect turned the gun on himself. The man and woman remain in critical condition. Sgt. Johnson was taken to Intermountain Medical Center where he later died.
Sgt. Johnson began with the Draper City Police Department in 2004. He was promoted to sergeant in 2012. That same year he was awarded the Community Policing Award for his service to the City of Draper.
Sgt. Johnson’s sister-in-law tells ABC 4 Utah, “He’s such a good guy. He loved his job and he did, he worked so hard. It’s all he wanted to do was be a cap. He was a security officer as a teenager and was on the explorer group. It’s all he ever wanted to do.”
Draper Mayor Darrell Smith said, "I have known Derek for many years, he is one of the best and most qualified sergeants on our force...Never have I spoken with Derek without recognizing his positive attitude and love for his work and serving the community of Draper."
No funeral arrangements have been made. Draper residents are asked to keep their porch light on in honor of Sgt. Johnson until he’s laid to rest.