Johnny Johnson, Jonah Barley, and Raekwon Manigault, the victims in last year’s Genesee Street shooting outside the Boys and Girls Club, died to a re-occurring threat – gun violence.
Johnny was Lentory Johnson’s son.
“That was my baby. That was my child. I loved him,” Johnson said. “His departure from this world means something to me. It’s significant to me. I hate to sound gangsta about it, but you got the wrong one.”
Lentory’s grief turned to anger, and then determination to do something about Johnny’s death.
Lentory is now the voice of a lobbyist group: Light the Way, against gun violence awareness.
She co-chairs this organization with the Reverend Lewis Stewart. Their mission is safer gun laws.
“You see what happened that night on Genesee Street that directly affected me and my family, and Tammy and her family, Anita Barley’s family – this affected a whole community,” she said.
For the past year, Lentory and the families of Jonah and Raekwon have sat together at every court hearing connected to this case.
That includes the trial and sentencing of Johnny Blackshell, Jr. Blackshell used a stolen AK-47 in the shooting that claimed their sons’ lives.
“How could I have known that I would lose my child, and even with the same weapon that was used on those babies in Sandy Hook,” said Johnson.
“You have accountability and a responsibility,” she said. “And we want every one held accountable for how they interact with this gun culture that is developing throughout the country.”
Because she is so outspoken, Lentory is in many ways a mother to other mothers whose children have been murdered.
One year later after her youngest son’s death, she refuses to be lost in grief.
“To have him just leave the home that day, and just be taken from me the way he was – it doesn’t set well with me,” said Johnson.
When it comes to senseless gun violence, she says enough is enough.