Breaking News
More () »

'I want his star to continue to shine' | Block party shooting victim Stephon Johnson remembered as loving friend, athlete

Stephon Johnson was 17 years old when he was shot and killed during a July 4 block party in central Toledo. Dozens turned out to remember him at Rogers High School.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Family and friends gathered to honor Stephon Johnson, a teen gunned down at a mass shooting over the weekend.

"We need to know, we all need to know, my baby shine, I want his star to continue to shine. He was a good kid, he didn't bother nobody. He looked out for all y'all, every last one of y'all," Johnson's mother said.

A call for justice and remembrance at Rogers High School as dozens braved a thunderstorm to remember their friend and classmate Stephon Johnson.

"Man, he taught me how to ride my bike, we were the same age and he taught me how to ride my bike because I couldn't do it," one of Johnson's friends said.

"He always told me to do something with my life and not be like all these other people, do something with myself," another friend said.

He was the kid who made his own soundtrack for life playing music in the halls of Rogers.

"He was a very special guy, always kept me cracking up with that stupid speaker, before school, after school, in the halls," one of Johnson's former teachers said.

To the people here, none of this makes sense. A good kid, gone.

JoJuan Armour, who's been working for the city to end gun violence, felt compelled to speak.

"You guys need to understand that you are not safe, that you deserve to enjoy yourself. It's amazing, I've been to vigils, I've been to so many vigils, this s--- is sickening, and this is one of the first vigils I've been to where people actually crying and showing emotion and feeling, that's how normalized it is," Armour said.

Between Armour, Stephon's mom, and his friends, what they want in his memory is clear: justice and no more kids' lives ending like this.

The principal at Rogers says Stephon was always the last kid out of school... because he was either playing football, basketball or baseball, or just making sure his friends were able to get home.


Before You Leave, Check This Out