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February 01, 2012 06:10 PM

People Shaken After Madison Shooting

Madison, SD

The place to go for information, the Country Cafe, was pretty quiet Wednesday, as noted by the solitary couple getting their coffees refilled during a usually busy lunch hour. 

People who live in Madison are still talking about the shooting that happened the night before.

"It doesn't make any sense at all. I think a lot of people will be looking before they answer their doors from now on," neighbor Larry Drause said.

Drause lives just kitty corner from Norm Johnson. He did not hear any gunshots fired, but noticed a lot of police cars in the neighborhood. Drause  said he knew all he needed to know about his neighbor.

"He was a pretty nice guy," Drause said.

His co-worker Luella Poppen knows the workplace will not be the same without him.

"We were good friends," Poppen said.

Johnson would work five days a week at Ace Hardware for most of the year, but customers could not seem to break old habits. 

"Just about everyone who came in had had Norm as a teacher. At one time or another they'd (walk in and) say, ' Hi, Mr. Johnson!'  He'd say, 'You can call me Norm,'"Poppen said while impersonating the way Johnson would clear his throat.

It was not unusual for his customers and colleagues to think of him as an educator. He may have left classroom years ago, but the teacher never left Johnson.

"In everything he did, he taught. If he knew of someway to help or make something easier, he would say, 'try this.' It worked," Poppen said.

Now the question Poppen and her neighbors are asking is why did this happen here, and why did this happen to Norm?

"From what we hear, it was random. It doesn't make sense why anybody would walk up to somebody's door and shoot them," Drause said.
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