SILENT WITNESS

Phoenix police looking for clues in man’s 2006 murder

Sep 27, 2021, 10:30 AM

This article originally appeared Nov. 16, 2016.

“He loved to watch Clint Eastwood in the old Westerns,” Veronica Elam said.

She said her son, Jermaine Johnson, whom they called J.J., would laugh and laugh at those old movies.

“I think about him every single day,” Elam said. “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my baby. He always greeted you with a hug and a handshake.”

Johnson, a father of two, graduated from North High School in Phoenix where he played football and basketball.

He worked for a cellphone customer service company and had just been promoted. But he was killed just two days before he was supposed to start his new position.

It was Oct. 20, 2006, at about 9 p.m. near 40th Street and McDowell Road. Johnson, his cousin and a friend were walking down an alley when they were approached by two men.

“Something happened but we don’t know what,” Phoenix Police Sgt. Jamie Rothschild said. “At least one of the men pulled out a gun and shot and killed [Johnson].”

Then the pair took off. It’s possible one of the suspects goes by Xavier and the other may be known as “Maniac.”

Elam said she’s very frustrated that those two are out there, walking around, living their lives and haven’t been brought to justice.

Read more about this case here.

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Phoenix police looking for clues in man’s 2006 murder