Springfield tragedy: A community reacts

Homicide, suicide on Burt Street in Springfield. (WDTN Photo/Jake Ryle)
Homicide, suicide on Burt Street in Springfield. (WDTN Photo/Jake Ryle)


SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – The two Springfield boys police said were killed by their mother attended Warder Park Elementary school, where a crisis team spent the day talking with students and staff.

Substitute teachers were made available so that any teacher who needed grief counseling could get it.

Many throughout the Springfield community told 2 NEWS what happened Wednesday morning is beyond horrible.

If this mother killed her kids, no one can comprehend why.

Family friend Vicki Harkins offered words of encouragement to Arthur Johnson, Daylan and Ayden’s father.

“Don’t let the devil make you walk away from that,” said Vicki Harkins, a family friend. “You keep your eye on The Lord and you pray and remember that God loves you.”

Harkins said grief and shock cannot even began to describe what she is feeling right now. She was a family friend of Rachel Johnson and her sons for years.

“She’s just a sweet little girl. Wonderful parent a good child. Loving. Very close to her family,” said Harkins.

Qualities Dedra Spurgeon did not know. She lived just a few doors down from Johnson and only saw her from time to time.

“I can’t imagine. I can’t imagine any mother taking her life, and her child’s,” Spurgeon said. “If you’re going to take your life, take yours not anybody else’s.”

Like Dedra, Vicki is left with unanswered questions. But one thing she’ll hold on to are the memories of both boys.

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