“Put the guns down. Please.” Family, friends gather to remember 15-year-old girl shot & killed

MILWAUKEE -- A 15-year-old girl was shot and killed while inside her own home near 35th and Silver Spring Drive on Monday evening, December 12th. On Tuesday evening, family members and friends gathered to remember her.

The vigil began around sunset. Family members said they want it to be a celebration of Melanie Johnson's life, and they said they're hopeful it will prompt anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.

Relatives say Johnson, a student at Marshall High School was standing in her kitchen when bullets came in through the window and hit her. A relative said Johnson went into the kitchen to get her infant nephew when the shots were fired.

Police said Tuesday they continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding this shooting, including whether Johnson was the intended target.

Fatal shooting near 35th and Silver Spring Drive

Fatal shooting near 35th and Silver Spring Drive

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Kendra Haney

Kendra Haney

"This is so sad that it happened to her. I just don't understand," Kendra Haney, Johnson's sister said.

Johnson's father told FOX6 News off-camera he is certain she was not the intended target.

Johnson's younger sister was home at the time of the shooting. She said she heard four shots before her injured sister collapsed in the hallway.

T'wana Townsend

T'wana Townsend

"They shot four times and then when she got to the hallway she dropped," T'wana Townsend said.

Townsend said another sister tried to keep Johnson conscious.

"She was like 'stay with us.' (Johnson) was like 'I`m trying,' but that`s when she died," Townsend said.

Haney, an older sister, said this is something too many families have experienced, and hers is now one of them.

15-year-old Melanie Johnson shot and killed near 35th and Silver Spring Drive

"I`m hoping and praying that we get peace of mind. I`m hoping we get justice for my sister. This is my little sister. Like, I never expected to see my little sister on the news or have to put my little sister on a T-shirt. This can happen to anybody, anywhere. Please put the guns down. Please," Haney said.

Fatal shooting near 35th and Silver Spring Drive

Fatal shooting near 35th and Silver Spring Drive

Fatal shooting near 35th and Silver Spring Drive

Fatal shooting near 35th and Silver Spring Drive

Johnson's death was the 133rd homicide in Milwaukee in 2016, according to Milwaukee police -- just nine fewer from 2015.

3 comments

  • Ibn Nate

    I asked a group of sixth grade students, “How many of you are afraid to go outside?” All of them raised their hands, but surprisingly the boys raised their hands first. Our children aren’t even safe in their own homes because this thug life mentality, which is promoted in rap music and ultimately promoted by the government, continues to manifest itself in many of the youth, and when one advises many of them (NOT ALL), it is as if you’re talking to the LIVING-DEAD!

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