Grandview Shooting Victim Laid to Rest
A 20-year-old Mabton man who was shot and killed at a party in Grandview eight days ago is laid to rest today.
Deputies are still searching for the suspect wanted in the killing.
We caught up with Carmen Johnson's long time friend, Josh Strickland right after the funeral and he said the feeling there was devastating.
"I'm heartbroken. I feel like we were such good friends, I feel like I lost a brother," said Strickland. "At the funeral, it felt like it was hard to breathe. Every inch that casket lowered it hurt."
Strickland said hundreds of people gathered this morning at a private service for Johnson's funeral and that the feeling amongst everyone there was universal.
"Devastation, heartbreak everywhere," said Strickland. "I think that was the first time we've all been together since we graduated and for it to be over something like this it just hurts."
Strickland said he's been friends with Johnson since they were both in the 5th grade.
They played basketball together and both graduated from Mabton Senior High School, where Johnson's jersey was retired over the weekend during a ceremony.
"The whole town was there, there wasn't a place to sit, people were standing in the halls, it was beautiful," said Strickland.
Strickland and his peers want to keep the memory of Johnson alive.
He said everyone could always count on him.
"You can be having the worst day and you can go hang out with Carmen and he'll just make you laugh," said Strickland. "He'll find a way to do something dumb, something funny. He was always just positive uplifting, he always found a way to lighten the room."
The Yakima County Sheriff's Office is still looking for the suspect in the killing, 21-year-old Miguel Martinez.
Officers are using resources to search for him across the state, anyone with any information on Martinez's whereabouts is urged to contact the Yakima County Sheriff's Office.