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“We got him:” 5 years after homicide, police charge suspect, already behind bars for a separate killing

MILWAUKEE -- For five years, a Milwaukee homicide went unsolved. Now, prosecutors say there's enough evidence to finally close the case.

This case was noteworthy because it was Milwaukee's first homicide in 2012, and prosecutors didn't have to look far to find the suspect. He was already in jail for killing another person.

Travon Johnson was killed before he could really get to know his young son. On Wednesday, July 5th, the boy held back tears, knowing the man who allegedly took his father's life is finally facing charges.

Travon Johnson

Travon Johnson's son

Kenyatta Evans

"It's a struggle for him because he doesn't have that father-figure," Kenyatta Evans, Johnson's sister said.

Johnson was killed on New Year's Day in 2012. According to court documents, 26-year-old Damonte Fipps was arrested shortly after the crime.

"In 2012, they had him in custody, but they didn't have enough information and they had to release him," Evans said.

After several witnesses came forward, telling investigators Fipps bragged about killing Johnson, police were able to get enough evidence to prosecute.

Johnson was shot in the back and neck near 29th and Townsend. Police say the shooting was gang-related.

"I still have to think about him saying he loved me, 40 minutes before he got killed," Vanessa Moor, Johnson's godmother said.

Damonte Fipps

As police closed their case, Fipps was already behind bars -- accused of killing 39-year-old Kealicia Clark near 26th and Auer in 2015.

Kealicia Clark shot and killed in 2015

"Sorry that it had to happen like that. It took five years, but we finally got him. We got him," Evan said.

Unable to control her emotion, Johnson's mother on Wednesday held her grandson in her arms, while keeping the memory of her son close to her heart.

Travon Johnson's family

"We all gotta stay together. That was his goal. For us to stay together," Hope Johnson said.

Johnson's family said they'll attend every court appearance Fipps makes in an effort to send a message to him that they are all still hurting.

Prosecutors say they expect Fipps will make his initial appearance in court on Thursday. He faces one count of first degree reckless homicide, as party to a crime, use of a dangerous weapon and one count of first degree recklessly endangering safety, as party to a crime, use of a dangerous weapon for the death of Johnson.