Family disputes claims of 2014 Halloween murder

Family disputes claims of Halloween murder
Published: Jun. 25, 2015 at 7:22 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 26, 2015 at 8:21 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Frayser family disputed claims that someone killed their son in a 2014 Halloween murder.

Police said Samuel Johnson, 21, was pronounced dead at a hospital on October 31, 2014 after a heart attack. The next day, the medical examiner declared Johnson's death a homicide.

"Says he was going to the gym," said the victim's father, Reginald Johnson. "That was the last time I saw my son."

Johnson said he's still grieving over his son's death.

Johnson's family said police released a surveillance photo of a black car seen riding pass the family's home several times on the day he died. They said police believe the car may be connected to Johnson's murder. However, Reginald thinks police may have the story wrong.

In a video of Samuel Johnson leaving his Frayser home, the 21-year-old can be seen staggering from his driveway and down the street, walking with a limp.

"It wasn't 20 minutes before people were knocking on my door telling me my son was in the street," Reginald said. "No one heard any gunshots or anything."

Reginald added that his son was shot weeks before, on October 8, in a possible gang shooting, but he does not believe someone shot him again on October 31.

"Our strong belief is the bullet that he was shot with on [October 8] is the bullet that killed him," Reginald explained.

He said doctors never took out the bullet from his son's side after the October 8 shooting.

Memphis police talked to the Johnson family and said the victim had a "fresh" gunshot wound.

Methodist Healthcare's spokeswoman Dawn Ray released the following statement Thursday:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time. However, it wouldn't be fair or appropriate to say anything further due to our commitment to patient confidentiality."

Whatever the case, Reginald Johnson said he just wants some peace in the matter.

"I'm still grieving and I'm still hurting and I just want some type of relief."

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