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Friends Remember Charlie Johnson, Killed In Downtown Mpls. Shooting

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Marielle Mohs spoke to two St. Thomas seniors who graduated without their best friend (2:25). WCCO 4 News At 6 - May 24, 2021

Video Transcript

- Friends of 21-year-old Charlie Johnson remember him as someone who was always living in the moment.

- Johnson was killed the same day he was set to graduate from the University of St. Thomas. Johnson's father share this picture of his son on Facebook with the mantra, I am Charlie. He's asking people to continue to live in love with compassion as his son did.

Johnson was shot, one of two people shot outside of the Monarch Nightclub in downtown Minneapolis around 2:00 Saturday morning. A stray bullet hit him as two people started shooting at each other. WCCO Marielle Mohs spoke to two St. Thomas seniors who graduated without their best friend.

- And he was always just this bright light for me every single day.

MARIELLE MOHS: Friends from their very first year at the University of St. Thomas. Jon May and Charley Johnson were both mechanical engineering students at USC, a rigorous degree they got through together.

JON MAY: Honestly, I don't think I would have made it through four years without him. I mean, he was incredibly smart and he helped teach me so many things that I needed to know to get through these four years.

MARIELLE MOHS: Andrew Johnson found Charlie on campus at a time when he needed him most.

ANDREW JOHNSON: My sophomore year was just, you know, everybody kind of just has their personal issues and Charlie just was a godsend. And he came into my life to set the perfect time.

MARIELLE MOHS: For these friends were all the same year in school, they looked up to Charlie as a role model.

ANDREW JOHNSON: And we both kind of shared some anxiety issues and he-- just seeing how he deals with those things in his everyday life just really inspired me.

MARIELLE MOHS: On Saturday, Charlie's sister Camille accepted his diploma from USC on his behalf.

JON MAY: Graduation day was this full of so many waves of emotion of wanting the joy of celebration. But the sadness of not having you know, our best friend there with us.

MARIELLE MOHS: These friends now entering the adult world with heavy hearts but a changed perspective.

JON MAY: You have to live every day as authentically as you can. And the people that you love, you have to tell them that you love them.

MARIELLE MOHS: Making sure Charlie is never forgotten.

- I can't wait for one day to tell my kids about their Uncle Charlie.

MARIELLE MOHS: Marielle Mohs, WCCO 4 News.

- Police arrested a 23-year-old Bloomington man in connection with the shooting. Stay with WCCO on TV and online for continuing coverage of the investigation of this deadly shooting.