Columbia mall shooting victim remembered for his volunteer work

COLUMBIA, Md. - Tyler Johnson had been clean from substance abuse for two years prior to being gunned down Saturday as he worked at Zumiez at the Mall in Columbia.

While the Mt. Airy man got a paycheck from Zumiez, his true passion was a volunteer position just a few miles from the mall. It was at the Serenity Center where Johnson used his own struggles with addiction to help others in the same seat.

Serenity Center's past board president Claudia Friend said Johnson spent more time volunteering at the center than he did working for a paycheck.

She said the 25-year-old also used the 12-step program to overcome drugs and alcohol. Johnson stood strong but he couldn't walk away. He served as a board member.

Johnson knew Friday and Saturday nights are tough times forked addicts, so he would support those late meetings.

"I don't know how we will deal with it," Friend said.

The Serenity Center is still looking at ways to honor him and his volunteer work.

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