ELKHART — Eddie Johnson, 34, was not born and raised here, but friends say “wherever he went, he brought the party with him,” and Elkhart was no exception.
Johnson was shot Tuesday, April 30, while standing outside a house at 1702 S. Sixth St. Bystanders at the scene took Johnson to the hospital. He was pronounced dead at 4:41 p.m.
Johnson, known by his friends as “Mississippi” because of his home state, moved to Elkhart in the late ’90s, a friend recalled. He had four children, and had another child on the way. He loved nature, occasionally going out for a swim or a hike.
Johnson was just full of life, his friends said of him. He had recently started rapping at different venues, and he had just bought a Jeep Wrangler, planning summer road trips with friends and family.
“He was just getting everyone to do karaoke tonight,” said Swanson, a friend of Johnson’s who did not want to be identified by his full name.
John White, Elkhart County coroner, said Johnson died of multiple gunshot wounds, though he did not elaborate further because of the ongoing investigation.
The Elkhart Police Department officers were dispatched at about 4:30 p.m. to the corner of Sixth Street and Cleveland Avenue to several reports of a shooting.
The owner of One Stop Shop, 1517 S. Sixth St., said he heard four gunshots Tuesday afternoon. He saw two young men running from the scene going different directions.
The store owner, who didn’t wish to be identified, said he didn’t know Johnson. The store is located two blocks north of where the shooting happened.
Johnson’s friends, who had stopped at the scene of the shooting Wednesday afternoon, said he was a good father, the life of the party and a best friend to all.
“He was a peacemaker,” said “Sunny,” another friend of Johnson’s who wished to remain anonymous.
His friends don’t know why anyone would want to harm Johnson.
“That’s what we don’t understand,” Sunny said.
Johnson’s friends and family are placing cans for donations in local stores. The donations would help his family with funeral costs.
Police ask anyone with information about the shooting to call the anonymous tip line at 574-389-4770.