NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Seven years have passed since 25-year-old Montinez Johnson’s life was taken in South Nashville after what his mother calls an act of senseless violence.
“Killing is somebody died in a car wreck, oh they got killed in a car wreck, you know. This was murder. This person meant to do what he done,” Johnson’s mother, Nedra Jones said.
Johnson attended Whites Creek High School, was an avid basketball player, and perhaps best known for his role as a father. He had three daughters who are now seven, eight, and 12-years-old.
“Everybody says I look just like him. Like a resemblance,” Johnson’s 8-year-old daughter, Malaysia, said.
In the early morning hours of July 26, 2014, Metro Police were called to University Court where they found Johnson shot to death. His mom said he had just put one of his daughters to bed when he walked out of his apartment.
Witnesses told police Johnson was standing with two other men, one of which was his cousin, when someone ran up and shot all three of them.
“My nephew, he was shot, you know. The best friend was shot. Not only did it affect our family but it affects the shooter’s family, you know. Now his family… I don’t know if they’re hiding him or I don’t know what happened to him because like I said, I don’t know who he is,” Jones said.
Johnson’s cousin returned fire but did not hit the suspect. Although all three men were shot, Johnson was the only one killed.
Police later received reports that the shooting erupted after a text about a girl.
“If you’re going to kill someone over a text message or over having words, just think what would happen, say for instance you’re walking down the street and you bumped that person, he’s subject to kill whoever bumped him. Say for instance they’re in a car wreck, the person didn’t mean to be in a wreck, but he’s subject to get out of the car and kill, you just don’t know,” Jones said.
Johnson’s mom now helps raise his daughters, something that breaks her heart while also giving her the strength to get by.
“They left this baby and her sisters with no daddy to grow up with. He was a great daddy. And he was a great dad, he took care of these girls, you know?” Jones said.
Now his family asks anyone who has information on his murder to come forward and help bring them peace.
“I told the Lord it’s time now, you know because seven years is really too long for a mother and a child to be without justice,” Jones said.
Anyone with information can report tips anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME. Tips might also qualify for a cash reward.