Long Beach murder victim's girlfriend speaks about nightmare

Long Beach murder victim's girlfriend speaks about nightmare

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Deverick Johnson's girlfriend said the murder came out of nowhere Monday night. Johnson's family is still dealing with the pain of his death. Now, his girlfriend said she wants to make certain justice is fully served.

"The death penalty, life in prison. Death penalty because I'm scarred for life now, and I have to live with that," said Jackie.

Jackie said she's still reliving the nightmare of watching her boyfriend, the man she planned a future with, get shot in the head.

Jackie said she and Johnson were sitting in her car parked at his cousin's house on Lang Ave. after picking up dinner from a fast food restaurant. While in her car, Jackie said she watched James McDowell get out of another car and approach hers.

"He goes and gets in my back passenger seat, and I message Deverick and I'm like, 'Can you please get him out of the car.,' and he's like, 'OK baby,'" said Jackie.

She said McDowell and Johnson started talking, and McDowell started looking around her back seat. Then, suddenly, the two got quiet.

"All of a sudden, he pops up and says, 'OK, well, I'm gonna head out.' He shook his hands between the seats and he opens up the door, and all I see out of the corner of my eye is the gunshot and I hear his last breath," said Jackie.

Jackie said Johnson, who was a caring man to his son and family, did nothing to deserve his death.

"No one knows why it happened, and it breaks my heart to see someone that you love, that genuinely loves you. No one would expect anything like that to happen the way it did. It was a situation that caught us all off guard," she added.

According to court documents, Johnson and the suspect were arguing about a stolen gun and money. McDowell allegedly fired two shots into the vehicle before he got in a vehicle with two others and sped away from the scene.

"It hit me as soon as it happened, knowing that all these dreams and all these plans just washed away. That my heart was just ripped out and thrown around," Jackie said.

The two people who were in the vehicle McDowell reportedly fled the scene in were his sister, Charity McDowell, and Johnson's cousin, Michael Taylor. A judge gave Taylor a $150,000 bond. Charity is still waiting on an initial court appearance.

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