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'Justin matters and needs to be remembered too' Family of Thursday's second shooting victim speaks out

Justin Johnson
Posted at 10:23 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 23:14:31-05

BALTIMORE — Baltimore Police have charged two men in connection with the ambush shooting of an officer and a homicide of a man early Thursday.

RELATED: Two charged in connection to ambush-style attack that left BPD officer on life support

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said the two men shot Officer Keona Holley and then left the scene to shoot 38-year-old Justin Johnson.

The suspects have been identified as Elliot Knox, 31, and Travon Shaw, 32. Both are being charged with attempted murder in Holley's shooting and with murder in the shooting of Johnson.

Friday night, family members of Johnson spoke with WMAR-2 News.

"They drove 11 miles, 11 miles to kill my son after they shot the officer," said Justina Lawrence, Justine's mother. "They drove 11 miles and neither one of these guys thought to say, 'let’s not do this.'"

The pain of the shooting weighs heavy on the family. Until Friday's police press conference, much of the victim coverage focused on Officer Holley.

"Just because he wasn’t a police officer does it mean he’s worth any less," said Justin's sister Dionna. "Our prayers and love are with Keona's family. We hope she pulls through, but Justin matters and he needs to be remembered to."

Family told WMAR Justin was a father to five children. His youngest is 2. His oldest is 18.

"He’s going to be that person who is never going to walk through my door again," said Justina. "He’s never going to say, 'hi ma, I love you.'"

As for the suspects arrested, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said evidence gathered at the scenes, ballistics, plus cameras and license plate readers helped connect suspects Knox and Shaw to both crimes.

"We have absolute confessions that they did it, they were there we don’t have motive as to why," said Commissioner Harrison. "What we can say is the guns did not belong to them. We had information about where they were. Investigators did a masterful job of uncovering that and throughout the night with assistance, recovered those guns. We have confirmed that one of them is tied to both shooting incidents and we’re still waiting on the results for the second."

As for Officer Holley, she remains in critical condition and on life support.

Families, like investigators still want to know why their loved ones were shot.

"Of course, I want to know," said Dionna. "But at the end of the day there a reason isn’t going to be worth it. They’re reason isn’t going to be like yeah, that makes sense. What they did is unforgivable."

Family for Justin Johnson have set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral arrangements. For more information you can visit the page by clicking here. His funeral is planned for next Wednesday.