SAN JOSE (CBS) – Thousands filled San Jose’s SAP Center Thursday for a tearful tribute to fallen San Jose Police Officer Michael Johnson.
A black hearse carrying Johnson’s body arrived outside the center at 10:42 am following a motor procession that began at a funeral home in Los Gatos.
Johnson, 38, was shot and killed while responding to reports of an armed, distraught and intoxicated man on March 24. When he arrived in the 2600 block of Senter Road in East San Jose shortly before 7 p.m., 57-year-old Scott Dunham shot him from the balcony of his home.
Dunham was then killed in an exchange of gunfire with another officer, according to police.
A 14-year-veteran of the department, Johnson is survived by his parents, Katherine Decker and Daniel Johnson.
Johnsons’ sister Jamie Radack spoke at the funeral, sharing family stories and finally, a tearful good-bye. “You’ve left an emptiness in our lives that cannot be refilled. We love you. We are proud of you. Today and every day we will honor you. Rest in peace my little brother,” Radack told the solemn crowd.
Assistant Chief Edgardo Garcia directly addressed Johnson’s family.
“We cannot begin to imagine your anguish and loss, however we all do feel your pain,” Garcia said. “We all speak openly about being part of the police family and this is not cliché.”
He said Johnson was a gun collector, a black belt, a scuba diver and enjoyed “Die Hard” movies and travel.
Following Thursday’s public service, South Bay residents were moved as they watched Johnson’s funeral procession leave for the cemetery.
“This is such a tragic event but its also an amazing sacrifice and I want to pray that the officers of the valley here continue to remove violent criminals from our streets,” said Ernie Lyon.
Later, a private ceremony was held at Oak Hill Funeral Home & Memorial Park. Nearby, hundreds of people showed up to the two locations of the Britannia Arms in San Jose, where the put teamed up with the Police Officer’s Association to donate all proceeds Thursday directly to the Johnson family.
Government officials such as state Attorney General Kamala Harris, U.S. Rep. Mike Honda, state Sen. Jim Beall and state Assemblyman Kansen Chu attended the funeral.
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