Remembering Gary Johnstone: Firefighters mourn loss of one of their own killed after rappelling fall

PHOENIX - Firefighters in the valley have heavy hearts as they mourn the loss of one of their own.

Off-duty Phoenix firefighter Gary Johnstone was killed after a 30-foot fall from Camelback Mountain last Friday.

His son's friend, 15-year-old Trevor Crouse, was also killed. Johnstone was rappelling with his son and two of his friends that morning.

Gary's friends and colleagues remember him best by his work with the honor guard.

He played the bag pipes. Co-workers say he was a leader and well-known by pipe majors across the country.

Soon it will be their turn to pay him their respects.

And they know it won’t be easy.

“He was just a solid, solid guy and a really good person. You know I was heartbroken a little. I really feel for his family,” said Matt Wood, fellow honor guard member and a firefighter with Daisy Mountain Fire Department.

Gary's funeral is scheduled for Thursday.

We're still waiting on more details.

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