“I want someone to wake me up and say 'it's time to get up and go to work' and none of this last 48 hours has happened,” said Joyce Johnson.
Johnson's son Rodrick, 21, was gunned down on Tuesday at 38th and Jefferson, the 101st homicide victim for Metro Louisville this year.
“They shot my baby six times,” she explained.
It happened around 2:00 in the afternoon on Tuesday. Johnson thought her son, nicknamed Blue, was at work. When she hadn't heard from him by 6:00pm, she started to worry. A few hours later, she learned the devastating news.
“By 9, I called his auntie and I said I haven't heard from Blue and I put on Facebook, 'has anyone seen my son?' And someone sent a picture of him laying on the sidewalk,” she explained. “My youngest son said ‘mama, that's Blue. I can tell by the outfit.’”
Officials said he died at University Hospital the next day. She doesn't know who killed her son, or why, but she's begging people not to respond with more violence.
“If you want to do something, if you want to honor your friends who you lost, go to college, get a job, move on with your life. Honor them by going to their mama's house and cutting their grass. Checking on their mama's and see if they need something, be there for them.”
Johnson is also a JCPS teacher at Minor Daniels Academy, an alternative school for troubled kids. She said she's no stranger to seeing young kids fall to violence.“I'm tired of seeing my babies, I've buried too many, period. And then to have to bury my own, that's the icing on the cake. It makes no sense.”
Johnson said she will donate her son's organs as her first step in honoring Rodrick's life. “That means my son will live on. He's got a good heart and I know there's someone who needs a good heart.”
There are no suspects. Anyone with information can call 574-LMPD.