Marcus Johnson Jr., a 6-year-old boy from St. Louis, was shot and killed during what is believed to have been a “traffic dispute.” Just one week before the little boy was killed, he had undergone heart surgery and had a post-operation check-up scheduled during his final day on Earth.
The 6-year-old boy had just left O’Fallen Park, where he was enjoying some time outdoors with his family and friends, when individuals inside an oncoming vehicle shot the minivan driven by the Johnson family. Marcus Johnson’s father told St. Louis police officers that he returned gunfire in self-defense. The drive-by shooting turned into a shootout that continued for several minutes and encompassed several blocks in the neighborhood that surrounded O’Fallen Park.
The St. Louis 6-year-old boy who was killed in the drive-by shooting was attending kindergarten. Marcus Johnson Jr. had reportedly suffered from a heart condition since birth. Because the child was taking blood thinner medication, his parents had to watch him closely to make sure that he did not get bruised or injured.
Marcus Johnson Jr.’s 15-year-old brother and an elderly family friend were also wounded during the gunfight.
“My baby already had stress to live in this world, and for somebody to take his life away is wrong,” Quiana Johnson, the boy’s mother, stated during an interview with the St. Louis Post Dispatch. “He was a happy, happy, loving and caring kid. Through his sickness he was happy.”
Because the weather was finally warm enough after the extremely long winter, the Johnson family hopped into the 2006 minivan they have recently purchased and headed to the local park. Quiana Johnson told reporters that they all wanted to “get out of the house and do some things as a family.” As the family was pulling into O’Fallen Park, Marcus Johnson Sr. noticed someone he knew and stopped the minivan to chat with the man. Stopping in the roadway reportedly angered another driver who was stuck behind them. Quiana Johnson said that the man said the area was “his hood” and that they should not be holding up traffic.
After the St. Louis family finished their outing at the park, they piled back into the minivan and drove toward the exit. The man who had shouted to them earlier allegedly followed them and began shooting. Quiana Johnson had a gun with her at the park, one she purchased recently because of break-ins in the neighborhood.
Once she realized her son had been shot, she said she handed the gun to her husband, saying, “I told him that if he didn’t shoot back, they will kill us all.”
Quiana Johnson said she then crawled to the back of the minivan where the rest of the family had hunkered down.
“I said, ‘little Marcus, wake up. Don’t go to sleep. Mommy is right here with you. Wake up.’ He was trying,” the grieving mother added.
Marcus Johnson Jr. was pronounced dead shortly later at a St. Louis hospital.
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