University of St. Thomas student set to graduate on Saturday killed in Minneapolis shooting

Charlie Johnson was shot and killed downtown Minneapolis over the weekend. "I am Charlie" is a mantra being used by the family in solidarity to address hate and gun violence. Plus, it serves as a call to bring out the best in all of us and be like Ch

A University of St. Thomas student set to graduate Saturday was among the victims in an early morning shooting in Minneapolis.

The university says Charlie Johnson, a mechanical engineering student, was killed as gunfire rang out Saturday morning in downtown Minneapolis.

Police say the 2 a.m. shooting started with a fight between two people who both opened fire on the 300 block of N 1st Avenue. One of the gunmen was killed along with a bystander. Police say the second gunman involved was arrested Saturday afternoon in Bloomington. He is being held on probable cause murder. Eight others were injured.

Johnson died hours before he could walk the stage. His sister walked the stage and accepted Johnson's diploma on his behalf.

"Our community is shocked and saddened by the news of Charlie’s death. We grieve with his family and friends and pray for their comfort. On a day he and his family should have been celebrating his graduation from our School of Engineering, we are devastated by this loss," said President Julie Sullivan in a statement.

The university says it is making counseling and psychological services along with campus ministry available for grieving students. The president and campus ministry have also been in touch with Johnson's family, the university said.


The Johnson family released a photo of the slain student Sunday, which includes the caption "I am Charlie." 

The mantra is meant to show solidarity to address hate and gun violence, but it is also an homage to their belief that Johnson is the best of all of us. The family says "I am Charlie" is a call to bring out the best in everyone and be like Charlie.