The son of Dallas ISD Trustee Maxie Johnson was shot and killed overnight, police say. Christopher Whitfield Johnson, a 2015 graduate of South Oak Cliff High School, died in east Oak Cliff. He was 21 years old. Police found his body lying in the middle of the street in the 3600 block of Utah Avenue at about 1:30 a.m. He had been shot in the chest.
He was pronounced dead at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. Police do not have any suspects in custody. On the website for his campaign in District 5, which encompasses slices of South Oak Cliff, Uptown, and West Dallas, Maxie Johnson discussed raising as a single father three DISD grads at the top of their respective classes.
Whitfield Johnson’s death comes in the middle of a prolonged run of gun violence in the city. Last night, a 9-year-old named Brandoniya Bennett was mistakenly shot and killed in Old East Dallas as gang members fired into an apartment building.
Miguel Solis, Maxie Johnson’s colleague on the school board, sent this statement:
My colleague Maxie Johnson is the epitome of a great father—one who has put his heart and soul into raising his children. My heart breaks for him and his family. Today I pray for him, I pray for the parents of 9 year-old Brandoniya Bennett, I pray for the families and friends of the many who have recently perished in our city due to the mindless menace of violence. Our lives on this planet are too short to let this spirit flourish any longer in Dallas. Something must change.
Soon after he was sworn in, Mayor Eric Johnson called on police to provide a month-by-month breakdown of homicides dating to 2007. The resulting chart, sent to Johnson on July 1, had 104 homicides this year in the city of Dallas through June. Dallas PD incident data, which is generally low, shows another three murders were tacked on to June since that report went out. The incident data shows eight murders in July and seven between August 1 and August 11.
Other reports have the total count higher. There have been “at least” 135 homicides in Dallas in 2019, according to a story today by the Texas Tribune. Dallas has not passed 175 since 2007, when there were 200. That year, there had been 121 homicides through July and 138 through August.