Murder of 13-year-old boy shot
on city street now a cold case
Friday, Dec. 6, 2019 was an unseasonably warm day in Memphis, Tennessee and 13-year-old Demonte Johnson was walking home in the 800 block of Looney Avenue about 11 that morning. Of course, gun violence pays no attention to the weather.
Bullets rang out and the boy fell to the ground. He was shot in the chest and the arm. Paramedics arrived and took him to the trauma center at Regional One Hospital in critical condition. Doctors worked desperately but couldn’t save his life.
At Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich’s request, the Governor’s Office established a $15,000 award for information leading to an arrest and conviction, but no information has been received by local investigators. That special award is over and above a $2,000 award available through CrimeStoppers of Memphis and Shelby County for tips helping detectives make an arrest.
“He’s a baby — he ain’t nothing but 13 years old,” said Demonte’s older sister. “He don’t bother nobody, and I can’t even think of why it happened.”
The killing of young Demonte remains in the Memphis Police Department’s Cold Case records.
“I just want somebody to tell my mama some answers, just give my mama some type of information or something.”
In the days after the killing, social media was filled with memorials for the teenager — including several messages from others who said they would miss their cell phone Facetime with him.
Citizens’ tips remain a big tool
for detectives investigating cases
Cold case detectives continue to amass new methods for solving difficult cases — including DNA technology — but no amount of scientific evidence can outdate old-fashioned information supplied by witnesses and citizens with solid information.
This is why CrimeStoppers offers cash awards to people who will contact the agency with information that can be passed to detectives. Sometime the smallest detail can lead to a break in a case.
Tipsters contact CrimeStoppers by dialing 528-CASH (2274) to provide information and to be given an anonymous tip number. Or they can text or email via secure routes. Find more details on how to anonymously text or email information here.
“We know that in virtually every felony crime someone in the community knows something that can help us bring justice in a case,” said E. Winslow (Buddy) Chapman, executive director of CrimeStoppers.
“No one will ever know a tipster’s identity. We guarantee that.”