Slain Titusville man known for helping others fight addiction, hunger

Chris Johnston killed during robbery, home invasion, deputies say

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The Brevard County Sheriff's Office Friday identified the man killed this week in his home on Kirby Drive near Titusville and people who knew him say his absence will leave a hole in the community.

Deputies said 63-year-old Chris Johnston was killed during a robbery by 40-year-old Daniel Blair, of Mims.

Blair is in custody in Volusia County after deputies said he crashed Johnston's stolen pickup truck on SR A1A in Ormond Beach hours after the slaying.

Johnston's church, St. Gabriel's Episcopal in Titusville, began worrying about Johnston when he was absent from his usual food pantry duties and he also missed Bible study.

"There's a big hole now in this community," the Rev. John Clark said about Johnston's death.

The church recognized the 63-year-old during a birthday blessing at mass on St. Patrick's Day.
Deputies said they believe Blair had been to Johnston's house before he allegedly broke in and killed him this week.

"We had it pretty early on as far as we knew who our suspect was," Tod Goodyear with the Sheriff's Office said.

The church said Johnston dedicated his life to helping addicts get sober and he gave those people a place to stay when they had no where else to go.

"Chris touched so many lives in this Church, within the Church and outside of the church," Clark said.

St. Gabriel's Episcopal is holding a prayer vigil for Johnston Saturday night.

The Sheriff's Office said Johnston's autopsy is happening this weekend.

About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.