Mabton High School Honors 20-year-old Carmen Johnson's Life - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Mabton High School Honors 20-year-old Carmen Johnson's Life

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MABTON, WA. -- 20-year-old Carmen Johnson was shot and killed one week ago at a house party in Grandview. Now, the community of Mabton is rallying around the young man's family.

On Saturday, the community sold t-shirts to raise money for Carmen Johnson's family but that was just one of the many things they did to offer their support.

People can show amazing strength in the toughest of times. Mabton is made up of only 5,000 people. The game remembering Carmen Johnson was standing room only.

"We're a small community and we try to band together and take care of our own," Mabton High School Athletic Director Brock Ledgerwood said.

There were plenty of choices to help support the family; a taco feed, your pick of commemorative t-shirts, wristbands and a bake sale to name a few.

"Carmen was very happy, very positive and I think this thing tonight shows that Mabton is a very caring community." Tawnya Ibarra, President of the Mabton High School Boosters Club, said. "This is Carmen's home."

"The community of Mabton is awesome," volunteer Kelly Newhouse said. "I grew up knowing all these people and I'm honored to even be apart of this."

But the room cleared out for the main event, a ceremony honoring Carmen's life and retiring his memorable double zero jersey. The first jersey to ever be retired at Mabton High School.

"Tonight's not another game," Carmen's lifelong friend JT Reynolds said. "Tonight they're going to go out there and they're going to play for Carmen."

"I know he's watching down and making it a little bit easier on me," best friend Kristian Carrasco said. "I know he's probably laughing at me because I've been crying too much. I just miss him."

As every member of the Mabton team gave Carmen's mother a rose people knew, in the end, it didn't matter who won the game because everyone was there for one reason.

Carmen's friends say Saturday was difficult. But with a rosary service Sunday and a funeral on Monday, they expect the next few days to be even harder.

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