KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – Cassie Johnson’s mom, Sheryl, beams with pride when she shares memories of her youngest daughter, Cassie.

“From the time she was born that kid was entertaining,” Sheryl said, “she loved her job, and being her own person.”

The Charleston Police Officer was just 28-years-old and just shy of two years into her career as an officer when she was fatally wounded on the job on December 1, 2020.

She was responding to a call about a parking violation on Garrison Avenue when she was shot.

A community, a police family, her friends, and family held out hope that she would be able to survive the gunshot wound.

On December 3, 2020 she passed away.  A woman who was one of Cassie’s recipients told Sheryl that she was able to go to her daughter’s wedding because of the gift Cassie gave her.

A man in Kentucky received Cassie’s heart.

Sheryl said she would love to hear it beat.

When Sheryl was pregnant with Cassie she was exposed to a virus.  Her doctor recommended that she have an abortion and try again.

“Something told me not to,” Sheryl said.

In the year since her death, Sheryl and her daughter Chelsea have learned countless stories of how Cassie helped others through her work and just in life in general.

“She was more amazing than what I already knew she already was,” her sister Chelsea said.

Her best friend from the police academy, Detective Erin Simon, said she misses the little things with her friend most, and she knows she’s watching over because she sees the signs.

“Somehow, I run faster these days when I work out, (it’s) her telling me to get my hind-end in gear,” Erin laughed. 

Erin has one of Cassie’s rescue dogs Tanner.  He sleeps with Cassie’s sweatshirt. Cassie served as the city’s humane officer prior to becoming a sworn officer of the CPD.

Tanner is just one of the many creatures and people whose lives she promised to serve and protect: through her organ donation and the lessons.

“She wasn’t supposed to be here and she was and for 28 years she was my angel,” Sheryl said,  “now she literally is my angel but that is okay too, he needed her more so than I did.”