Javon Johnson, 33, faces felony charges following what police are describing as a “violent, cowardly act.”
Authorities say that at about 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, the victim’s mother was stopped behind Johnson’s vehicle at a red light. When the light turned green, no one moved, and so the victim’s mother sounded her horn several times. When that failed to get any results, she drove around the vehicles, into the intersection, and around the corner.
This allegedly enraged the driver of a silver Mazda MPV, identified as Johnson, who then followed the mother. Johnson then allegedly fired into the car, said Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison.
“What we believe is that the driver of the first car at the light followed and then caught up to the victim’s vehicle and then fired from his gun into the victim’s vehicle, striking the child,” Harrison said.
Initially, police were alerted to shots fired via the city’s ShotSpotter system, a computerized network of microphones that alerts police to the sound of gunfire. However, they weren’t able to immediately find any victims, and only became aware that a 2-year-old boy had been shot after staff at a hospital notified them that they were treating a juvenile victim of a gunshot wound, according to WBAL-TV.
Similarly, they weren’t able to immediately identify the alleged assailant, and sought the public’s help in identifying the shooter. They tweeted out security camera footage of the incident.
UPDATE: Detectives believe the suspect vehicle involved in the shooting of a 2-year old child is a silver Mazda MPV. pic.twitter.com/Dz6X1u6HwG— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) October 13, 2019
Eventually, police were able to arrest Johnson. How they were able to tie him to this crime remains unclear. He’s been charged with attempted murder, assault and various handgun charges.
“You shot a child. Whoever you thought you were shooting at, you didn’t shoot,” Harrison said of the alleged shooter.
As for the boy, he is believed to be in “somewhat stable” condition and is expected to survive.
This is not the first time a road rage incident has ended in violence, and indeed, in several cases the violence has turned fatal.
For example, as WJZ-TV reported at the time, at about 2 a.m. on January 5, 2014, a state trooper found Tim Davison’s body riddled with bullets and his silver SUV pushed into the median of Interstate 81. He had been followed by his alleged assailant for miles, all the while on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, pleading for help.