‘Remember Scott Johnston’

Chad Sokol Evergreen Reporter

A passion for music, a head of blond curls and an infectious smile are a few of the qualities that defined Pullman native Scott Andrew Johnston. More than anything, however, Johnston will be remembered as the kind-hearted man who welcomed everyone he met.

Johnston, 32, died Thursday after he was shot multiple times during a break-in at his home in Seneca, S.C., according to a press release by the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. Johnston shared the home with his long-time girlfriend, who called police despite also being shot and tied up.

The two assailants, an 18-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy, will be tried as adults on charges of murder, first-degree burglary, kidnapping, and grand larceny, the release indicated.

“His life revolved around friends, music and the Boy Scouts,” said Chelsea McQueen, a long-time friend who met Johnston in fifth grade. “He always had a smile on his face, a kind word to say, and knew how to make you feel like you were wanted when you may not have felt that way.”

Johnston was an integral part of the Pullman music scene, an avid guitar player, and fanatic jockey for the student radio station KZUU. Friends remember him with a smile on his face and a can of Olympia in hand, playing darts and trivia games, swimming in neighbors’ back yards and frequenting downtown coffee shops.

After graduating from Pullman High School in 2000, Johnston attended WSU while McQueen left town for another college. When she transferred to WSU about two years later, McQueen saw Johnston on the Terrell Mall.

“It was like no time had ever passed,” she said. “Just as friendly, cordial, warm, and sweet as he had always been.”

Isaac Harrison, another friend, remembered visiting Johnston and his girlfriend while they were living in Portland, Ore.

“After arriving, we all spent the entire weekend sampling southern food restaurants, browsing bookstores, and listening to records,” Harrison said. “We probably spent six or seven hours at Powell’s bookstore alone, but he was never annoyed and enjoyed hanging out and browsing books as much as I did. That was the way Scott was.”

Several of Johnston’s friends said he never uttered an unkind word and did not think twice about including people in his life.

“Scott was always there for anyone to talk to if you needed it,” said Dana Gibson, who knew him since she was 4 years old. “Never once did he ever judge you.”

 The Facebook group “Remember Scott Johnston,” with more than 350 members, commemorates his life through stories, photographs and a drink in his honor.

Funeral arrangements are pending, but a memorial ceremony is expected to take place in three to four weeks. Further information will be posted on the “Remember Scott Johnston” Facebook page.