CENTREVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — K9 Deputy Brad Johnson was brought home to Centreville Sunday morning to be laid to rest days after he was shot and killed in the line of duty during a chase.
Early on Sunday, law enforcement lined the streets of Highway 82 and the Highway 25 bridge. Deputy Johnson was brought home to Bibb County from Montgomery.
Centreville Mayor Mike Oakley said the support Bibb County felt from neighboring law enforcement agencies was unbelievable. He shares the heartbreak Centreville feels at this time.
“It’s a sadness. It’s an anger. It’s a confusion type of emotion that we’ve all been dealing with for a week,” said Oakley.
Oakley believes Johnson’s death will not only have a lasting impact on the community, but also on those who lay their lives on the line for their community.
“Anybody, it could have been anybody,” said Oakley. “And it just happened to be Brad sadly. And I feel that every day now that it will impact these guys.”
Bibb County Sheriff Jody Wade said the days since Johnson’s death have been really difficult for everyone at the department.
“All my guys are emotionally, physically worn out,” Wade said. “We’ve had agencies from all around the state come and volunteer to help us with our calls and I told my guys ‘Go home and get some rest,’ and their answer was ‘No, we gotta keep up the fight.’ That’s how we honor Brad: we keep up the fight.”
Watch Sheriff Wade’s full press conference here:
Oakley shares that people would always have a smile on their face when Johnson walked into a room because he was so uplifting and kind. He also says that Deputy Johnson always put the needs of others before himself.
“So I think Brad’s legacy is selfless service, service above self,” said Oakley.
According to Oakley, Johnson is more than a son and a friend. To him, he’s a hometown hero.
Johnson’s funeral will be held Friday at the University of Montevallo Student Activity Center. Visitation will be held from 9 to 11:15 a.m. and the funeral will begin at noon. After the service, a procession will follow from the campus to Centreville.
Those interested in helping Johnson’s family can do so by donating to the Deputy Brad Johnson Memorial Fund at U.S. First Bank, 135 Belcher Street, Centreville.