The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

January 11, 2014

'Tragic' shooting witnessed by friends, neighbors

By Jean Cole
jean@athensnews-courier.com

— Five or six people witnessed the fatal shooting that occurred Thursday night in the Capshaw community amid a dispute between a son and his stepfather.

Sheriff Mike Blakely called the shooting "tragic."

Jonathan "Kevin" Johnson, 29, was fatally shot sometime after 6 p.m. outside his home on Red Bird Lane during a struggle with his stepfather, Tim Johnson of Decatur.

Although Limestone County Sheriff's investigators were still working the case Friday, Blakely told The News Courier, "At this time we see no grounds for making an arrest. We are still doing some investigating but, at this point, we see a very tragic incident of someone pulling a gun, someone grabbing the gun, it went off and killed someone."

Blakely said Tim and a friend had gone to Kevin's home to repossess a 1999 Chevrolet Blazer that Tim had sold to Kevin. When they arrived, Kevin and a friend were across the street at a neighbor's house, the sheriff said. When Kevin and his friend saw Tim and his friend at the house, they walked back to Kevin's house, Blakely said.

Two or three neighbors also walked toward the house at that time and witnessed the shooting, the sheriff said.

Witnesses said Kevin and Tim exchanged words, and Kevin pulled a .40-caliber Ruger from the waistband of his pants. Tim grabbed at the gun, the gun fired and Kevin was struck in the chest with a single bullet, the sheriff said.

Someone telephoned 911 at 6:22 p.m. to report the shooting, records show. Jonathan was declared dead at Athens-Limestone Hospital at 7:09 p.m., Limestone County Coroner Mike West said.

After interviewing the witnesses, sheriff's investigators did not find probable cause to charge Tim with a crime. Blakely said when they complete their investigation they will turn the information over to the District Attorney's Office, which could present the case to a grand jury.

District Attorney Brian Jones said Friday he would have to review the results of the sheriff's investigation and that it would be March or later before he could convene a grand jury to hear evidence in this case.