In the community

Nyssa to rename city park after fallen police officer, event set June 13

NYSSA – The city of Nyssa will rename one of its parks to honor a reserve police officer who was shot and killed in April.

A ceremony Tuesday, June 13, at 6 p.m. at North Park will officially rename it to the Corporal Joe Johnson Memorial Park.

Johnson, 43, was killed in a shooting Saturday, April 15, just a few blocks from North Park after he responded to a call regarding an individual damaging property and threatening people near North Third Street and Locust Avenue.

Two days later, Rene Castro, 36, of Nyssa was arrested in Ontario and charged with murder and four other counts in the shooting.

The June 13 ceremony will feature the Oregon State Police Honor Guard along with other local officials, said Jim Maret, Nyssa city manager.

Maret said local attorney Mike Horton suggested the name change.

“I thought it was a good idea,” said Maret.

The Nysssa City Council will finalize the name change at a special session Tuesday, May 23, said Maret.

“Joe was a big guy, a hero in our community and it is the least we can do,” said Maret.

Maret, who is also a reserve Nyssa police officer, worked with Johnson frequently.

The shooting death of his friend was a blow, said Maret.

“Joe was my buddy so this has been pretty emotional for me. I’d like to do more but this is what we can do for right now,” said Maret.

Previous coverage:

Nyssa reserve officer killed in Saturday shooting, gunman being sought

Police arrest suspect in Ontario in fatal shooting of Nyssa officer

Castro charged with aggravated murder in death of Nyssa reserve officer

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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