WREG, the CBS affiliate in Memphis, tells us she had "turned her life around" and was preparing for college.
She is just another victim of black gun violence in Memphis, the type of victim virtually no one cares about documenting anymore because her death is such a depressing reminder of black dysfunction and an aggressive reminder of why white people no longer wish to risk their lives in the majority black city. [Toddler to accept diploma of slain mother at BTW graduation, Memphis Commercial-Appeal, May 23, 2016]:
One-year-old Kylan Johnson will walk with his grandmother across the stage at Booker T. Washington's graduation on Saturday to pick up his mother's diploma.
The toddler was given the honor after his mother, Myneishia Johnson, 18, was shot and killed Sunday in Downtown Memphis. Johnson's funeral is scheduled for Friday.
"She was looking forward to graduation. Now I'm going to bury her in her cap and gown," Myneishia's mother, Terri Johnson, said Monday. "She was such a fun person. She loved to laugh."
Myneishia was walking with friends on Second Street across from the Flying Saucer on Sunday around 12:30 a.m. when a man in a car drove by and opened fire, police said. The bullets struck Myneishia and her two friends. She died at the scene while a 19-year-old and 23-year-old were taken to Regional Medical Center. Police don’t believe she was the target.
Kwasi Corbin, 19, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in Sunday's shooting. In an affidavit, Corbin told police that he pointed an assault rifle and opened fire into the group. The motive is unknown. Neither Myneishia's mother nor her basketball coach recognized Corbin, they said.
Guns, cash and references to the "Crash Mob" group are prominently featured on Corbin's Facebook page. Although Corbin doesn't have a serious juvenile record, he has gotten into trouble in both Shelby County and Southaven, records show. In Southaven, he'd been arrested for two counts of domestic violence as well as disorderly conduct/resisting arrest.
In Memphis, he was wanted on outstanding warrants for assault (March 15, 2015), aggravated assault (Sept. 15, 2015) and domestic assault (March 22). Authorities attempted to arrest Corbin three times, officials said, with no luck.
Myneishia had been playing basketball since the ninth grade, her mother said. The honor student was considering going to college but hadn't decided which one. Steven McKinney, who coached Myneishia in both basketball and volleyball at BTW, said she was also considering a career in the military. McKinney added that Myneishia had recently gotten a job at Burger King to help provide for her son.
Myneishia is one of 46 teens and juveniles gunned down in Memphis since 2010. The number of slain youths, 18 and under, has been steadily increasing each year. So far this year, 14 children and teens have been killed by gun violence. That's higher than any other year since 2010. Of those, more than 90 percent are black, according to homicide data.
Sunday's killing stunned Memphians because violent crime in the heart of Downtown is rare.
Downtown Memphis Commission president Terence Patterson said he is taking this violent crime seriously, adding that 6 million visitors come to Downtown each year.
"We continue to work at making sure Downtown is safe and secure," Patterson said.
Memphis Police Col. Gloria Bullock said there is already a large police presence Downtown following Sunday's homicide, but she emphasized in a written statement that crime in this area is uncommon.
"Our prayers are sent for the family and friends of the victims of this heinous crime.
We will continue to do our best to provide a safe environment for tourists and residents," Bullock said.
Despite the rarity of Sunday's shooting, some Memphians say they are afraid crime is inching closer to them.
"I bring my kids down here and it makes me nervous. They'll visit me at the office or we'll go to lunch," said Nick Brown as he stood Monday at the spot where Johnson was killed.
For Valerie Henderson, crime in Downtown Memphis hits closer to home.
Henderson's son, Calvin Wilhite, was fatally shot last May 24 — a year ago today — on Fourth Street and Dr. Martin L. King Avenue Downtown. Wilhite, an Iraq War veteran, was in Memphis before training and eventual deployment to Afghanistan.
"I was more scared when he was in Memphis (than when he was deployed)," she said.
"Memphis has become so dangerous. You can't go out and have a good time without worrying that something might happen."There's a moral in this story of an 18-year-old single black mother, mere hours away from graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, only to be gunned down by another black person at 2:00 a.m., thus creating a scenario where her one-year-old black son walked across the stage to accept her diploma... I'm just not quite sure what it is.