San Jose prepares for Officer Johnson's memorial at SAP Center

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ByChris Nguyen KGO logo
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
San Jose prepares for Officer Michael Johnson memorial at SAP center
Preparations are underway in San Jose for Officer Michael Johnson's memorial service, which is expected to draw thousands people from across the country.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Preparations are underway in San Jose for Officer Michael Johnson's memorial service, which is expected to draw thousands people from across the country.

Outside the Police Administration Building in San Jose, flowers and letters of gratitude line the wall, which has become a growing memorial for Johnson.

"It's really been helpful and healing to see the community just pour in with support," said James Gonzales, with the San Jose Police Officers Association.

Johnson was killed in an apparent ambush while responding to a welfare incident at a residence on Senter Road.

PHOTOS: San Jose police escort body of fallen officer

A 14-year veteran of the department, Johnson is the first San Jose officer to die in the line of duty since 2001.

"We're all going to miss his smile, we're going to miss the way he policed, the caring that he brought to the job," said Gonzales.

Thursday morning, Santa Clara County law enforcement agencies and the CHP will be patrolling neighborhoods within the city and answering calls for service as police pay their final respects at the SAP Center.

Shoe shiner Don Ruelas has been helping officers get ready. "They want to send him off, looking their best, being at their best, both off and on. It's a fitting tribute," he said.

At the Marriott Hotel in downtown San Jose, there is another tribute to Johnson, which greets guests as they walk inside.

"(We're) just remembering his service, and as a good person. He touched everybody's life," said Marlon Santiano with the San Jose Marriott.

All signs of a community coming together to appreciate all those who sacrifice.

"They risk and put their lives on the line every day, and that's something they do for us," said Ruelas.

ABC7 News will carry the procession and memorial service live on-air and line. Click here for information on how you can watch.

If you would like to extend your condolences to the officer's family and the San Jose Police Department, click here. We've posted a badge on Facebook for you to share, to honor his memory and his service.

Donation Information

The SJPOA Charitable Foundation is accepting donations for the family of Michael Johnson. Please visit our website at: to make a donation online.

The Britannia Arms will be holding a fundraiser on April 2 from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. All proceeds during this time will be going to the family. The fundraiser will be held at both locations:

Britannia Arms - Downtown

173 W Santa Clara Street

San Jose, CA 95113

Britannia Arms - Almaden

5027 Almaden Expressway

San Jose, CA 95118

The San Jose Earthquakes will be holding an Easter Egg Hunt following the team's match on April 5 (available to kids 10 and under with a ticket to the match). A donation bin will be set up at the Guest Services Center behind section 101. Following the match, fans can donate upon checking in for the Easter egg hunt. In addition, donations can be made at

All the donations will be coming to the SJPOA Charitable Foundation and then given to family.