Vigil held for Miami minister killed in shooting - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Vigil held for Miami minister killed in shooting

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Family picture of Pastor Kenneth Johnson Family picture of Pastor Kenneth Johnson
Latoya Johnson Latoya Johnson
Tyreke Desire in bond court Tyreke Desire in bond court
Larry Flowers in bond court Larry Flowers in bond court
Pastor Vincent Spann Pastor Vincent Spann

MIAMI (WSVN) -- It was a night of prayers and pain for a South Florida community as people came together to mourn the killing of a neighborhood minister.

In a circle holding hands, a Liberty City community gathered to pray at the church known as the Power, Faith and Deliverance Center, where Pastor Kenneth Johnson preached, Friday evening.

Mourners then marched to the store where the 67-year-old was gunned down on Thursday afternoon.

City of Miami Police and Fire rescue units responded to the scene of the shooting, outside a market in the area of Northwest 13th Avenue and 62nd Street, in Liberty City, Thursday.

Friends of the victim said Johnson was the kind of man who would give the shirt off of his back to a stranger. Thursday, he went to the market because he was helping someone with car trouble. He went to buy water from the store when two guys approached him, robbed him of his fake gold necklace and shot him.

Police said the crooks were also going after cash. Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa said, "They knew he was going there, to the ATM, and these two guys arrived, waited for him to come out and once he came out, and once he was walking away from the store, he was followed and that's when they jumped him."

Rescue crews transported the wounded victim to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he later died.

Police said 19-year-old Tyreke Desire and 20-year-old Larry Flowers approached Johnson outside the store and a struggle began. The pastor was able to take down Flowers, but according to to the arrest form, Desire took out a gun and struck the man in the torso three times. An officer, who was a block away heard the gunshots and began chasing the men.

Flowers was arrested immediately and Desire fled into a nearby home but was caught shortly after.

Flowers and Desire appeared in bond court Friday, facing murder charges. Both were denied bond. They are also facing charges of robbery, burglary and resisting arrest.

The widow of the victim has been answering her husband's phone informing people of the tragic news as she struggles to hold back the tears. "I just want to know why they had to kill him? Why?" said Latoya.

The incident was captured on camera, but police have yet to release the surveillance video as they continue to investigate.

"They are babies. They are babies, and all I can say is that I'll pray for them," said Latoya.

On Friday evening, Latoya took part in praying at the place where her husband was killed. Dozens lit candles and poured salt to bless the area. "I grew up with the violence. It is ridiculous. Something needs to be done," said Latoya.

Police said while they have already added officers to the area, they are sending more units to help stop crime. "We're also gonna be assigning some of our problem-solving teams to rotate into the area," said Orosa.

"It makes me feel good that someone did come out and respected him enough to come out and do this for him," said Latoya.


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