Santaquin police officer honored with procession Monday

May 6, 2024, 10:11 AM | Updated: 6:57 pm

TAYLORSVILLE — The body of a fallen Santaquin police officer was carried in a procession Monday from the medical examiner’s office in Taylorsville back to southern Utah County.

The officer was deliberately struck and killed by a semitruck driver early Sunday, police said, prompting an outpouring of support from law enforcement and officials across the state. The semi driver was apprehended about midday Sunday in Vernal following an extensive manhunt.

The procession began in Taylorsville and entered Interstate 215, connecting to I-15 and then south to Santaquin. The drive would usually take just under an hour. It ended at the Brown Family Mortuary in Santaquin.

In an exclusive interview with KSL TV, the brother of the officer said his brother paid the ultimate sacrifice for his service. KSL TV is choosing not to name the officer out of respect for the family, who wanted the name to be released by the Santaquin Police Department later Monday.

“Pretty heartbroken, It’s hard. We had plans this summer,” said the brother with emotion. “Everybody out there listening, if I can give them any advice it’s to hold your loved one a little tighter. Make phone calls, tell them you love them especially the ones you don’t get to see every day.”

Law enforcement agencies and people across the state shared messages of support and paid their respects to the fallen officer’s family.

“It just breaks your heart over and over every time you hear it,” said Shante Johnson. 

Her husband, Draper Police Sgt. Derek Johnson, was shot and killed on Sept. 1, 2013. She now works with the Fraternal Order of Police as a family liaison, helping individuals get through a situation she knows all too well. 

“Any time we hear of something like this, we just try to immediately assist the family, let them know that we’re here for them in any capacity that we can be available to them,” Johnson said. 

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office said there will be a press conference in Santaquin Monday afternoon to provide more information on the fallen officer and Sunday’s incident.



Contributing: Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

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Santaquin police officer honored with procession Monday