Shooting victim's friends hold on to memories during time of loss

Shooting victim's friends hold on to memories during time of loss »Play Video
MABTON, Wash. -- Deputies learned Carmen Johnson was shot while trying to break up a fight. Those that know him say that's just like him, against violence and trying to help others. Unfortunately this time his efforts ended tragically. He was in the the wrong place at the wrong time.

"Everybody loved Carmen," said Kristian Carrasco, Johnson's friend. "So it was, we just we didn't believe it, if anything I know that if the bullets that hit him, I know they weren't meant for him."

At just 20 years old Carmen Johnson had his whole life ahead of him.

A life that his best friends say he lived to the fullest, always with a smile on his face and cracking jokes.

"Just how loving he was, it didn't matter who you were, he was always making friends everywhere," said J.T. Reynolds, Carmen's friend.

Born and raised in Mabton, his friends shared that he loved basketball and traveling, recently taking trips to Texas and Oregon. Yet despite far distances, at the end of the day he knew who is family and friends were, and that bond couldn't be broken.

"Me and him we've always been together, we always planned to be together, he was just my brother and it just sucks that I, you know I didn't get the last words to speak to him," said Carrasco.

Never involved in violence or gangs, the news that he was caught in the cross fire at a house party in Grandview this past weekend, was hard to for his loved ones to accept.

"I just broke down, let it all out, went to his house, grabbed his mom, hugged her let her cry in my arms for a while," said Reynolds.

His loved ones have come together, supporting each other in this difficult time.

"I just accepted the fact that Carmen's in a better place and he's watching over all of us now," said Reynolds. "So he wouldn't want me to be moping around like everybody else and in sorrow, he'd want me to be one of the tougher ones and tell everybody to be alright, he's going to be alright up in heaven.

This Saturday night at the Mabton vs. Granger basketball game at the Mabton gym, they will be honoring Carmen with t-shirts and a bake sale. His family has opened an account for donations at the American West Bank. Ask for Johnny Guzby or Carmen Johnson's account to make a donation. All proceeds will help cover the funeral cost.