TACOMA, Wash. -- The family of the man Tacoma Police say shot and killed Officer Jake Gutierrez said they are grieving the officer’s death as well as their loved one, Bruce Johnson II.
Johnson's sister told Q13 News her family is devastated.
“Both families are at a loss,” said Bruce’s family friend, Tanesha Moore. “My heart hurts.”
Moore said she grew up around Johnson and his family.
“If he was here today he would apologize,” she said. “He wasn’t some crazed person that went out causing trouble.”
Moore said Johnson loved his children and his wife, but something about him wasn’t right in the past few weeks.
“I don’t believe it was on purpose,” she said. “I believe when he found out that officer died he knew that then he had no other way out.”
Johnson had been working at Sam & Terry’s Barber Shop in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood for the past 8 months.
The shop’s owner told said he too noticed something off about Bruce in recent days, saying he hadn’t been showing up to work on time and he had been instigating arguments with other barbers and customers.
The owner said he fired Bruce on Wednesday just before Tacoma Police said he shot and killed Officer Gutierrez.
“I believe that there was some mental illness or challenge that he went through especially this last past week and he probably he just didn’t know how to handle it,” said Moore. “But I don’t believe it was intentional. He’s not that kind of person.”
Johnson’s sister Carmen Bank-Davis provided this statement to Q13 News: "We are saddened by the loss of the lives of Officer Gutierrez and Bruce Johnson II. We ask for
"We are saddened by the loss of the lives of Officer Gutierrez and Bruce Johnson II. We ask for privacy of both families during this difficult time."
Both families are now left with heartbreak and young children who will grow up without their dads.
“I just pray they both went to heaven,” Moore said.
Johnson’s family stated that they are still planning his funeral which will likely occur at Shiloh Baptist Church in Tacoma.