The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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St. Peter news

June 25, 2013

St. Peter shooting victim friend to many

Jackie Johnson was shot by man she had dated who killed himself

ST. PETER — She was the type of person who lined children up at the cabin and started tossing pancakes toward them, forcing the kids to catch the hot, fluffy discs with their plates.

When she was working at Hobber's Bar & Grill Jackie Johnson was the person greeting people at the door, asking them what they wanted to drink and making sure they had a menu if one was needed.

The 48-year-old real estate agent, bartender and part-time letter carrier had the type of personality, good friend Chris Braun said, that prompted Braun's 12-year-old son to comment on a double rainbow that stretched across St. Peter Monday evening. Just before seeing the colorful scene, the Brauns had learned Johnson had been found shot to death at a house she owned on South Front Street.

"My son said, 'A double rainbow. That's perfect for Jackie," Braun said. "I don't remember exactly what he said after that, but it was basically that Jackie was twice the person than everyone else."

A member of Johnson's family had been sent to check on her after she didn't respond to phone calls and texts during the day, Johnson's friends said. That person called 911 to report Johnson was unresponsive and looked like she had been shot. The man who likely shot Johnson before shooting himself, 53-year-old Joel Bruce Reineke of Kasota, was found by a police officer who responded to the call.

Several people who knew Johnson described it as a tragic loss in a community where so many people were connected to her in one way or another.

Some remember her as an avid snowmobile rider. Others knew Johnson as a woman who loved to ride her Harley Davidson motorcycle. Coworkers talk about a driven woman who was always doing something, whether it was bartending, renovating a house she just bought or helping out with someone else's project. Others described her as someone who was always smiling and looking for fun.

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