A celebration of life service is set for 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 28, at the Kent-Meridian High School gym for Paul Ervin Johnson, 22, who was shot July 14 during a melee at Seattle Center.
Johnson, a 2015 graduate of Kent-Meridian, was shot in the neck just before 2 a.m. on a Sunday morning as a large crowd gathered near Warren Avenue North and Mercer Street, according to the Seattle Police and news reports.
As officers were attempting to break up the crowd, Johnson was shot, police said. The crowd’s hostility grew, would not disperse and repeatedly sought to interfere with life-saving measures being attempted on Johnson which included CPR. Once the crowd was pushed back from the immediate vicinity of Johnson, people in the crowd began breaking windows and surrounding the officers.
Additional officers from other precincts throughout the city responded to the scene, police said. Despite the arrival of more officers, the crowd continued to grow. Eventually the scene was secured for Seattle Fire medics and they were able to reach the scene and begin life-saving measures for Johnson. Paramedics transported Johnson to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. He died July 17 at the hospital.
Seattle Police arrested a 22-year-old man for investigation of assault in connection with the shooting. The suspect’s car, with the gun visible inside, was impounded from the scene police said. Police said the case remains an active and ongoing homicide investigation.
God, family and basketball were Johnson’s passions, according to his obituary. He and his father shared a love for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.
“He had a goofy personality with an infectious smile and a generous spirit that touched everyone he met,” according to the obituary.
Johnson was born Aug. 3, 1996 to Alaina and Curtis Johnson in Renton.
Survivors include his mother Alaina, nana Doreen Chasey, sister Decorba (Dee) Johnson, brother Antony (TJ) Ligon-Booker, niece Jekiyah White, nephews La Tre and Antony Paul, the mother of his child Malia Vaifo’ou and his 1-year-old daughter Rose Emeliana Johnson. He was preceded in death by his father Curtis Johnson.
The Vaifo’ou family will have a viewing at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 27, at St. Stephen the Martyr Church in Renton.
Relatives and friends have set up an account for Johnson’s family at gofundme.com.