Benefit Held for Shooting Survivor Paul Johnson

By KBJR News 1

April 6, 2013 Updated Apr 7, 2013 at 2:14 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.COM) The next page of Paul Johnson's Inspirational story began today.

Paul is in recovery after he and his mother, Rosemary were shot in their home by an intruder in December. Rosemary died, but Paul is pulling through.

Tonight his friends and family held a benefit at the Grand Rapids Civic Center honoring Rosemary and celebrating Paul's amazing recovery.

The community poured through the doors of the Civic Center to attend "Paul's Race to Recovery."

"It means everything, the support of the community is unbelievable...words can't describe how good that makes me and my wife feel," says Gary Johnson, Paul's father.

Paul's friends banded together to make the event a success.

"My son had a lot friends they're the ones that helped put this benefit on," Johnson adds.

"We use to go four–wheeling, fishing camping together so when tragedy struck...I offered like, hey I'm willing to help and put 100 – percent into this," Bri Stucklie.

"This tragedy that happened is very rare in a community like this and for something to happen to Paul because he's such a stand–up guy, just shocked us all," says friend and benefit organizer Ryan Jensen.

Paul is progressing beyond what anyone expected but is not yet able work.

The benefit had "Race to Recovery" merchandise for sale to offset his expenses.

"We have T–shirts for sale, bracelets for sale, we have stickers for sale, that's just the tip of the iceberg," says Jensen.

The event also included a silent auction, raffles, games, and a bake sale all made possible by community donations.

"It's absolutely amazing the way the community reached out to us," Jensen adds.

"The support is amazing I can't believe all the people in there," says Stucklie.

Gary Johnson says that despite the tragedy, today is a happy day.

"We're making the best of what really did happen and my son, his positive attitude and the way he's progressing with everything he's been doing, is really really good" says a proud Gary Johnson.

Those close to Paul were happy to give back to their friend who's unwavering spirit has inspired them all.

Paul is now recovering in an assisted living facility in Grand Rapids. He recently began walking and talking again.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware