HENRICO (WRIC) - The parents of a Varina High School graduate and ODU student killed over the weekend spoke out Thursday afternoon for the first time since their son's death.
Early Sunday morning, Paul Johnson, 20, was walking near campus in Norfolk when he was attacked. He later died at the hospital. The suspects - David Grimm Jr., 21, and Christopher Johnson, 20, have both been arrested.
"I'm not closing the book. His book just started. It's going to be a different book, but it's going to be a good one," said Therese Johnson, Paul's mother. "I think his aspirations were to live life. Be a good person and have fun at the same time."
Paul was one of six brothers who grew up in Highland Springs. He was a sophomore math major at ODU.
His parents say he loved the outdoors, music and above all--his family and friends.
"When he decided he was your friend he was a good friend. He had your back no matter what," said Therese Johnson.
That sentiment was reinforced by so many who held a vigil on ODU's campus in Norfolk Wednesday night.
"The community outreach has been outstanding," said Chris Johnson, Paul's father.
The Johnsons say friends from Paul's childhood all the way to college have reached out to them. And it's that support that's helped them move forward.
"They showed me pictures that I hadn't seen until we sat down and told me stories about him. So for me, it's been i mean, it has been awesome," said Therese.
Through those stories, they say Paul's memory and legacy will live on.
"He was going to make the world a better place. so i don't want people to stop this, i want them to keep doing what he was doing and be successful," said Therese Johnson.
There will be a memorial service for Paul Friday at 11 a.m. in John's Catholic Church in Highland Springs.
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