As Mother’s Day approaches, Mildred Johnson, of northwest D.C., remains on a mission to find out who killed her son five years ago.
Johnson has a son who is a former tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles who works in the pharmaceuticals business and a son who has been working for the Washington Post for 20 years. But her baby boy, Marcus, is gone.
“That’s the son that looks so much like me,” she said. “That’s the son that would, if I’m sick, the other two would back away. Not him.”
When Marcus Johnson was 16, he was selling drugs. He shot someone who refused to pay and spent four years in prison. His mother made him stand up and take responsibility for the crime.
At age 26, Marcus Johnson got a job at the Washington Hospital Center that changed his life. He was a patient transporter.
“When he got there, it seems like he had made peace with the world,” Mildred Johnson said. “He wanted to just be able to be a productive person.”
He was working there nine years later, when, on May 1, 2006, he heard gunshots while visiting his aunt on First Street. He went outside to protect children and was shot nine times.
“You didn’t just shoot him one time,” Mildred Johnson said. “You just shot him until the gun couldn’t shoot anymore. I wouldn’t kill an animal the way you killed my child.”
She hangs fliers at the scene, and when they’re torn down, she replaces them.
“They left my child in the street to die,” Mildred Johnson said. “Pain. That’s all I have. That’s all I have left is pain.”