Father of Columbia mall shooting victim speaks out about loss of - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Father of Columbia mall shooting victim speaks out about loss of his son

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Tyler Johnson Tyler Johnson

On Saturday, it will be one month since the Columbia mall shooting. That also means one month since Howard Johnson and his wife were told their son, Tyler, was one of the two people killed by Darion Aguilar and their lives would be forever changed.

When news broke about the shootings, the Johnsons instantly began to worry. They started calling and texting their 25-year-old son and waited to hear he was safe. That comfort never came.

Instead, reports came that the gunfire was inside Zumiez, the store where Tyler worked. They said they jumped in the car and started to drive to the mall, but never got there. On the way, they received a call from police and would later learn their son was one of the victim's killed.

"We still can't go into his room yet, so we're going to work on that," Howard Johnson said.

He continued, "We still have the good memories, but we're always going to miss him whenever we see his old clothes or whatever. It's just another reminder that he's not here.”

Johnson said his son struggled with depression and battled an addiction to narcotics, but he had recovered at the Serenity Center in Columbia, Md., and had moved on the helping others battle addiction.

Tyler's parents have taken over his seat on the board at the Serenity Center and established a memorial fund.

Donations for the Tyler Johnson Memorial Fund can be made to the Community Foundation of Howard County:

Tyler Johnson Memorial Fund
10630 Little Patuxent Parkway
Century Plaza
Suite 315
Columbia, MD 21044

Or online at:

www.cfhoco.org/give/donate/foundation (Specify 'Tyler Johnson' in the memorial field)

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