ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A Rockford man was shot dead in the parking lot of his work, and his family now wants him to be remembered for the things he did for others.
Caleb Johnson, the victim’s brother, said that losing his brother was completely unexpected and that Daniel’s death has left a huge hole in his heart.
“Never would’ve, never would have thought this would happen,” Johnson said. “You never think it would happen to your family.”
But on Thursday, April 7th, it did. Johnson’s brother Daniel was shot and killed at Loves Park’s Anderson Toyota Dealership, 4100 Perryville Rd. Johnson said that he and Daniel were inseparable, even living together.
“We were extremely close, we did everything together,” he said. “We would go get food together, we went to the grocery store together, we went to concerts together, like we literally did everything together.”
Loves Park Police responded to the report of “shots fired” at Anderson Toyota. They found Daniel Johnson in the parking lot when they arrived. Roman Richmond was arrested and is charged with First Degree Murder.
Another employee at the dealership was selling marijuana to Richmond, according to court records, but police said that Richmond pointed a gun at that man and demanded he hand over the drugs, asking “do you want to die?” The employee told police that Daniel then pointed a gun at Richmond and ordered him to leave.
That is when Daniel was shot.
“He went out doing what he’s always done and that’s be there for a friend and protecting people. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen him do it,” Johnson said. “He did what he always did. He stood up for a friend, he protected the people he loved.”
Johnson is now hoping that his brother is remembered for the impact he had on others.
“I would think that out of all of this, I would hope that, or I think he would hope, that everyone would be a little more vocal about what they appreciate, the people they appreciate,” Johnson said. “Tell your friends you love them, tell your family you love them. If someone makes an impact on your life, let them know because you might not get to tell them.”
A GoFundMe for the family was set up and Johnson said that Daniel’s funeral is open to anyone who wants to pay their respects. The visitation will be held on Friday, April 15 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory, 1860 S. Mulford Rd. Rockford, IL 61108. A funeral service will begin at 6:00 p.m. also in the funeral home.