RAW VIDEO | Dan Johnson's widow says her husband 'felt like he c - WDRB 41 Louisville News

RAW VIDEO | Dan Johnson's widow says her husband 'felt like he couldn't fight anymore'

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Rebecca Johnson Rebecca Johnson
Former Kentucky State Rep. Dan Johnson at a news conference Tuesday. Former Kentucky State Rep. Dan Johnson at a news conference Tuesday.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In the raw footage of the interview with Rebecca Johnson, she makes several unsubstantiated claims about the reporting methods of the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, which published an investigation last week into Dan Johnson. Among Rebecca Johnson’s accusations is that a reporter “physically manhandled” her late husband. The executive editor of Louisville Public Media, Stephen George, said in response: “We deny any allegation of a physical altercation between Johnson and our reporters.” In a separate statement, George said: "We share our condolences with Rep. Johnson's family, friends, constituents and church community. Like many, we continue to grapple with what happened. Our story is based on more than 100 interviews and thousands of pages of public documents, which are posted online along with our investigation. Readers can see the reporting and documentation for themselves.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A day after Kentucky State Rep. Dan Johnson shot and killed himself in Mt. Washington, his wife Rebecca said she wants to fill her husbands seat in the House.

In an interview with WDRB News on Thursday, Rebecca Johnson said the loss leaves a "huge hole," adding that she'll have pick up the pieces "without the love of my life."

Johnson said she became alarmed when someone told her about a cryptic post on her husband's Facebook page that sounded like a goodbye letter.

"And I said, 'Oh this is terrible,'" she said. "This is not a good thing to put on Facebook. And I ran downstairs to look for my husband, and he wasn't there."

She contacted police, and friends and family began a frantic search, which ended on a bridge outside Mt. Washington.

"We located him, and of course, we're devastated," she said. "We didn't expect it. We didn't see it coming. He's always so happy and giving and generous. I mean he works until he drops."

Dan Johnson took his own life Wednesday night in a rural area on Greenwell Ford Road in Mt. Washington. Bullitt County Coroner Dave Billings said he killed himself with a single gunshot wound to the head. Earlier this week, a report published by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting alleged that Dan Johnson sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl in 2013. Police had investigated the matter but did not file charges. The story prompted police to re-open the investigation.

On Tuesday, Dan Johnson held a news conference denying the charge. The next day, he took his life.

"The thing with the media frenzy that came against him, he just felt like he couldn't fight anymore," Rebecca Johnson said. "He was tired, physically tired and just wore out."

At Heart of Fire Church, where Dan Johnson was a pastor, Rebecca pointed out picture on the wall of her husband in New York on Sept. 11, 2001. She believes PTSD from that experience, combined with other health problems contributed to his despair.

"He had the physical issues that he's had for years: lack of sleep, just trying to carry so much and the assault that was unending, unfounded," she said. "I get upset. I'm going to try to be sweet, but we're talking about a man that on 9/11 ran into Ground Zero."

But despite everything, Rebecca Johnson now wants to fill her husband's seat in the state House.

"I just want to finish what he started," she said. "I'm a strong fighter like my husband. I just feel like he had a moment, and he just gave over to it." 

Dan Johnson's visitation will be held from 2-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Heart of Fire Church. The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday.

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