DENVER — On August 2, a shooting near the 3100 block of W. Ohio Avenue killed Shayna Johnson. Shayna, who was 43 years old, was a teacher in Denver Public Schools (DPS) for more than two decades, according to her family.
Jessica Johnson said she did everything with her sister Shayna. The two shared a room most of their childhood, went to college together, and then worked at DPS.
“As they say, being a teacher is not for the money. It’s because you love to do it,” said Jessica.
Jessica said Shayna was meant to be a teacher. She was patient, humble, and strong. It was her “dream job.”
Shayna was a special education paraprofessional and a restorative practice coach, according to Jessica. She spent her career at three schools in DPS, Jessica said.
Shayna had already set up her classroom for the upcoming school year.
“It doesn’t seem like it’s real,” said Jessica. “Numbness, you know, for someone to be taken away.”
Shayna’s brother RJ said she always wanted to help people. RJ said his sister’s alleged killer was someone she supported recently, with things like food, transportation, and a place to live.
“She was murdered by the same person that she helped,” RJ said.
The suspect in the case, Donte Ellis, faces a first-degree murder charge, in addition to possession of a weapon by a previous offender and felony menacing.
Shayna leaves behind two children, who are 20 and 16 years old.
“We will do our best to watch over the kids,” said RJ.
The family has started a GoFundMe to support them. The money raised will go directly to the children, according to Shayna’s siblings.
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