NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN)- The holidays are a time when families hold onto each other. It’s hard to not think about the people who aren’t there.
It’s been 7 years since Montinez Johnson left home. The 25-year-old was standing with two men, one of which was his cousin, when someone else ran up and shot all three of them.
“Still waiting for the person to get caught, still unsolved,” said Nedra Jones — Montinez’s mother.
On July 26, 2014, Metro Police were called to University Court, where they found Johnson shot to death. Years later, his mother is still fighting for justice.
“I remember them calling me at about 2:30, 3 o’clock in the morning and saying he had been shot,” explained Jones. “Very, very frustrating. You don’t know if you’re looking at the person when they’re out or what. You don’t know.”
There has been no arrest made in the case. Experts say grieving can be one of the hardest parts that come with losing a loved one, especially during the holidays. This is why Jones is sharing her son’s story with the public, partnering with The Partners in the Struggle. The organization is hosting its first therapeutic workshop, dedicated to youth affected by the murder of a loved one.
“I want them to always remember him you know I have a few little videos that have his voice on it, I play them for her a lot,” said Jones, “Birthdays, holidays, the anniversary of his death, all of those are real hard.”
Organizer Earl Jordan, says oftentimes the youth are affected in ways that no one ever sees, and by having this event, young people will feel more open about their feelings and could create a positive effect for not only them but others.
“A mother never expects to lose their child, and in that way anyway, it’s especially hard,” said Jones, “I really think if I didn’t have my grandbabies, by him, especially this one, since she lives here, I believe I would be gone by now.”
Helping to raise her grandchildren, talking about their father is a priority for Jones and lets her son’s girls have faith that justice will be served.
“I will never give up hope. I will have hope until the day I die, if they don’t find him before that, I’m going to always have hope. They are going to find them, we are going to get closure,” Jones said.
The workshop will be held Saturday, November 27, starting at 1 pm. The event is for those between 5 and 19 years old and will be held at the Hartman Park Community Center.