Last Updated: Thursday, April 20, 2017, 6:48 AM EDT
The father of Jayquon Johnson, 17, a Brandon High School basketball player who was shot and killed on New Year’s Day, talked about the case for the first time outside of the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office on Wednesday.
- Prosecutors have not charged 16-year-old shooter
- Shooter claiming self-defense
- Shooter's mother arrested last week, charged with evidence tampering
Johnny Johnson Sr. said he’s upset that prosecutors have not charged the 16-year-old shooter in his son’s death with murder.
“I cannot accept their findings so far,” Johnson said. “They’re saying there’s not enough evidence to bring charges.”
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Jayquon was shot and killed in the garage of a Valrico home during a marijuana deal gone bad. Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Rena Frazier said the shooter is claiming self-defense.
“The evidence that I can share with you that we have to date is that Mr. Johnson drew his gun first,” said Frazier. “The shooter then drew his gun and shot and killed Mr. Johnson.”
Frazier said prosecutors can’t charge the shooter with murder until they get evidence that rebuts his self-defense claim. (In keeping with Bay News 9’s crime guidelines, the name of the shooter is not being published because he’s a minor who has not been charged as an adult.)
Johnson said the shooter and his mom shouldn’t have any credibility because they allegedly tampered with evidence before calling 911.
“His first call wasn’t to the cops or ambulance once he shot my kid. His first thought was 'let me cover my own behind, let me tamper with evidence, let me move guns,'” Johnson said. “His mom take them out the house and do all this other stuff, while my son is lying in their garage floor bleeding his life away.”
On April 14, the shooter's 51-year-old mother was arrested on two counts of tampering with physical evidence. Deputies said she initially began burying the teen’s guns in the back yard before returning them to the crime scene.
The shooter was also arrested that same day for possession of marijuana, oxycodone and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Johnson did not address whether he believes his son pulled a gun first.
“My son is not here to say, 'Dad, this is what happened,'” Johnson said. “He paid the ultimate price by making a bad choice and a bad decision with his life, and I don’t want that to ever happen again.”
Johnson said he’s planning protests until everyone in the case is held accountable.
Prosecutors said the case is still open and under investigation.