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Woman shot by Fayetteville police laid to rest


The ashes of a woman shot by Fayetteville police were laid to rest Friday in a niche behind St. Patrick Catholic Church.

Jada Johnson, 22, was killed during what Fayetteville police say was a struggle with one of their officers over a firearm on July 1. The confrontation occurred after a prolonged stand-off between police and Johnson, who at times held a handgun.

Approximately 60 family members and friends attended the 11 a.m. funeral at St. Patrick Catholic Church on Village Drive. The service, called the Celebration of the Eucharist in the Catholic Church, started with a greeting by Father Gregory Lowchy and the sprinkling of holy water on the golden box containing the ashes.

Four acolytes, Lowchy and Johnson’s grandparents — carrying the box containing her ashes — then led a processional of family and friends to the altar. Another church member sang the processional hymn “Be Not Afraid” with the words “you will cross the barren desert but you shall not die of thirst.”

Lowchy told those in attendance that “Jada had a beautiful personality and love for her family,” and that she in turn was “the recipient of much love.”

Johnson left behind a daughter, LaNaya Johnson; four sisters; and her mother, Jaquaya Johnson. Her grandfather Rick Iwanski and his wife, Maria, who raised her, remained stoic throughout the service.

Before the service, Rick Iwanski said the loss of his granddaughter was devastating and that there were “so many questions on so many levels” still needing to be answered.

Among those attending were City Council candidate Mario Benavante, who in his campaign messaging has called for more police accountability and civilian oversight.

The service ended with a procession to the columbarium behind the church.

Earlier this week, the Police Department identified the officers involved in the shooting as Officer Zacharius Borom and Sgt. Timothy Rugg. Borom was the officer who shot Johnson, according to court records. Both have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, the department said.

The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the shooting, which happened at Rick Iwanski’s home on Colgate Drive. The Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards is also conducting an internal investigation.

Johnson's family and police have said that Johnson appeared to be suffering from a mental crisis. 

Jason Brady covers Cumberland County government for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at jbrady@cityviewnc.com.

Fayetteville, Police Department, officer-involved shooting, Jada Johnson