Friends said a Hackensack man was shot and killed outside a Bogota bar before dawn Wednesday when he stepped in to protect someone during a brawl between two groups.
UPDATE: An Englewood man has been charged with murder in the shooting death of a Hackensack man during a fight between two groups outside a Bogota bar.
Dakota Johnson, 28, who'd only just been released from prison two weeks ago, was killed by a single gunshot wound to the chest after friends said he came to another's rescue following an argument that began at Buddy's Place on Fort Lee Road and spilled outside around 1:45 a.m.
The 6-foot-2-inch, 260-pound Johnson was found on the front lawn of a nearby house on Leonia Avenue and taken to Hackensack University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo said.
Everyone else scattered, Calo said.
Detectives were seeking suspects and witnesses.
"There are people grieving the loss of this man," wrote a friend that asked that her name not be used. "He was a father, brother and friend."
Johnson, a father of two, had a delinquent history followed by a string of arrests over the past decade by law enforcement in towns that included Bergenfield, Hackensack, Lodi, Saddle Brook, Saddle River, Seaside Heights and elsewhere. Charges ranged from robbery and weapons possession to eluding and assaulting police, records show.
He'd recently spent 18 months in state prison -- from Feb. 28, 2017 to Nov. 26 -- for four separate burglary convictions out of Bergen County, state Department of Corrections records show.
EDITOR'S NOTE: I read all of the hostile, insulting comments about my inclusion of the victim's criminal past -- but there were so many more reasoned, respectful messages that convinced me to change both the writing of this piece and the headline.
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