ROSEBURG, Ore. (KOIN) — Community members and classmates lined the streets Thursday afternoon ahead of a memorial service for Jason Johnson, 34, one of the 9 victims killed in a deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College.
Johnson was in his first week of classes when a gunman opened fire in his classroom. In a statement, his family said he was proud of himself for recently enrolling in school.
While his family and loved ones privately honored his memory in a local church, acquaintances, community members and even people who never met Johnson gathered outside to show their support.
“I don’t think any family, anybody, should have to feel like they are alone in something that was so horrible,” Jessica Luttrell said. “I hope they know they are loved and the community cares about him, whether you knew him or not, he is loved in the community.”
Others who came out to support Johnson at Thursday’s memorial service had a more personal connection to him.
Student David West says he’s still struggling with the death of his classmates.
“I had just left that room just prior to the shooting,” West said. “I wish I would have been there to try to help out.”
Family members said Johnson was a proud Christian who felt he finally found his path.