Sunday, November 23, 2014


Elkhart police Lt. Brent Long (right) interviews a person at the scene of a shooting at Cleveland Avenue and Sixth Street Tuesday, April 30, 2013. One male victim was transported to Elkhart General Hospital. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

A friend of Eddie Johnson named Swanson, right, sits with a group in the yard at Cleveland and Sixth streets Wednesday, May 1, 2013, as they talk about Johnson, who was shot and killed Tuesday. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard) (AP)

The beginning of a memorial for Eddie Johnson includes a cross, teddy bears, flowers, and Johnson’s fishing pole. Friends began placing items Wednesday, May 1, 2013, near where Johnson was shot and killed Tuesday near Cleveland and Sixth streets. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard) (AP)

Christine Williams places a cross in the grass as she adds to a memorial with teddy bears, flowers and a fishing pole near Cleveland and Sixth streets Wednesday, May 1, 2013, where Eddie Johnson was shot and killed Tuesday. Friends gathered in the side yard to share memories about Johnson, who they said always made people laugh. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard) (AP)

A friend holds a keychain with a photograph of Eddie Johnson and his girlfriend as he and other friends gather Wednesday, May 1, 2013, near where Johnson was shot and killed Tuesday. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard) (AP)

A memorial consisting of teddy bears, flowers and a fishing pole sits near Cleveland and Sixth streets Wednesday, May 1, 2013, where Eddie Johnson was shot and killed Tuesday. Friends gathered in the side yard to share memories about Johnson, who they said always made people laugh. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard) (AP)

A man who only gave the name of Swanson, right, sits with a group at Cleveland and Sixth streets Wednesday, May 1, 2013, as they talk about Eddie Johnson, who was shot and killed Tuesday. Swanson had posted a photo on Facebook of him with Johnson earlier in the day and was surprised to see that it had over 150 likes on the social media outlet. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard) (AP)

A man who only gave the name of Swanson sits with a group in the yard at Cleveland and Sixth Streets Wednesday, May 1, 2013, as they talk about Eddie Johnson who was shot and killed Tuesday. Swanson had posted a photo on Facebook of him with Johnson earlier today and was surprised to see that it had over 150 likes on the social media outlet. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard) (AP)

Dee Jackson seasons barbecue chicken during a party to remember Eddie Johnson on Wednesday, May 1, 2013, in Elkhart. Johnson died Tuesday, April 30, after shots were fired in the yard at Sixth and Cleveland Streets. "We're partying for him just like he'd want us to," one friend of Johnson's said. (Truth Photo By Ryan Dorgan) (AP)

Friends and family gather to remember Eddie Johnson on Wednesday, May 1, 2013, in Elkhart. Johnson died Tuesday, April 30, after shots were fired in the yard at Sixth and Cleveland Streets. (Truth Photo By Ryan Dorgan) (AP)

A friend of Eddie Johnson's pauses for a moment after placing a bouquet of roses on his memorial Wednesday, May 1, 2013, in Elkhart. Johnson died Tuesday, April 30, after shots were fired in the yard at Sixth and Cleveland Streets. (Truth Photo By Ryan Dorgan) (AP)
Shooting victim known by friends as peacemaker
Posted on May 1, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

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.