Suspect Charged in Death of Beloved Chicago Woman Caught in Crossfire Leaving Bank

Bobbye Johnson, 55, was a grandmother active in her community and church

Bobbye Johnston
Photo: St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago

The Bronzeville community in Chicago is mourning this week after police identified a woman tragically killed after getting caught in the middle of gunfire.

Bobbye Johnson, 55, was leaving Chase Bank on Tuesday afternoon at 3500 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr when Victor Brown, a security guard at a nearby liquor store, allegedly grabbed another guard's gun and wantonly fired 20 shots down the street, intending to hit a man who had just shot him in the leg during an argument.

Instead, police said Brown's bullets fatally struck Johnson in the chest. The 34-year-old is facing one felony count of first-degree murder and one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon in Johnson's death, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said in media conference Friday following Brown's arrest.

Victor Brown was hospitalized before being taken to Cook County Jail for the injury to his thigh.

"Chicago Police Department sincerely hopes the arrest and charging of the offender responsible, Victor Brown, who is charged with first-degree murder, brings some small measure of closure to her family during this unimaginable time," Supt. Brown told reporters.

Johnson worked as a home health care provider, was a mother of four and a grandmother who was active in her church and known for her singing voice, WGN9 reported. Family members told the Chicago Sun-Times that she even produced her own music and uploaded it to Youtube for others to enjoy.

Pastor Scott Onque of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, where Johnson worshipped, offered condolences to the family and honored her memory via Facebook.

"When I say I'm devastated by the news of Bobbye Johnson being a victim of this senseless violence in our City is an understatement! Bobbye was a sweet soul," Onque said in a post. "I am praying for Carleeta Johnson, Mark and Jasmine. Praying for the entire Johnson Family. Also praying for the members of St. Luke at this time. This one hit home."

Supt. Brown said Chicago PD may release surveillance video of the incident of Victor Brown, who is also facing charges of unlawful use of a weapon for being a convicted felon in the possession of a firearm.

"Mrs. Johnson should still be here. We have to get gun off our streets and keep them out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them," Supt. Brown added.

An attorney for Victor Brown argued in court Friday that his client was only in possession of a gun because the circumstances required him to use one. Victor Brown remains in Cook County jail on $1 million bail.

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