Updated: Teen, new mother shot after breaking up Old Town fight dies surrounded by family
Naceea Johnson held her daughter’s hand to her face for the last time. She told her she loved her and how proud of her she was.
La’Tionna Johnson died early Thursday morning. The 19-year-old Wichita woman and new mother had been on life support since undergoing surgery after she was shot in the neck and shoulder Saturday. The shooting happened after she broke up a fight in Old Town.
She died at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis, surrounded by about 20 family members and friends.
Siandra Obat described her niece as a loving mother of a 6-month-old girl who enjoyed spending time with family, especially when they would watch movies or play games. Naceea Johnson said her daughter was excited about being a mother and looked forward to going to college and making a better life for herself and her family.
She also worked hard as a CNA and helped pay for insurance and make other ends meet around the house. She also provided for her sisters.
“She fought for me, she pushed me,” Johnson said. “And she did the same thing for her sisters.”
The 2022 Wichita South grad had two of her younger sisters with her when she was shot Saturday night. One of the sisters tried to stop the bleeding while they waited on police.
“She’s pretty traumatized,” Obat said.
And the youngest of the four sisters was then seriously injured in a two-vehicle accident that hurt eight people Monday near downtown.
“All of this within a few days of each other is a bit much,” she said.
Police are asking for anyone of with pictures or video of the shooting to send it to detectives at 316-268-4407. They also are asking for help finding the suspect in the shooting: 19-year-old La’Niha Banks. Police are saying not to approach her but to call 911. She is considered armed and dangerous.
Police and the victim’s family had different details about what happened that night.
Johnson told Banks that she was “too beautiful to be fighting,” as she pulled her off of a childhood basketball friend, Naceea Johnson said. Obat said they were fighting over a boy and another person had also jumped in to fight against Banks.
Police said the fight involved just the two people.
After the fight, the friend had gotten into another vehicle and taken off, the family said. Johnson and her group, which included two sisters and two friends, were in reverse when Banks started firing. Obat said a person in the vehicle with her niece also didn’t get along with Banks.
Police spokesperson Juan Rebolledo said another occupied vehicle was hit in the crossfire, but the target was in Johnson’s vehicle. He said the girl in the fight with Banks was in that vehicle.
Rebolledo wouldn’t say how many shots were fired.
One of Johnson’s sisters told Obat the woman with the gun “just kept shooting and shooting ... and when she was out she left.”
Two of the shots hit Johnson in the neck and shoulder.
Her sister in the passenger seat yelled to Johnson, but she didn’t say anything back. She tried to say something but couldn’t, Obat said, adding her sister recalled that Johnson wasn’t panicked.
She noticed the blood and applied pressure.
Another sister in the vehicle ran to try and get help, Obat said.
“La’Tionna was becoming,” she said. “She was taken too soon. She didn’t deserve this.”
Obat said Johnson loved to cook and take care of her daughter, La’Marionna Johnson. She also looked forward to going to aesthetician school at Cowley Community College in the fall. She encouraged one of her sisters to go with her.
“She was excited about being able to take care of her daughter and finish college and just be a good mother,” she said.
Obat added: “You can’t just get mad and start shooting at people. I try to put myself in everyone’s shoes. I just can’t do it this time. La’Tionna didn’t deserve it. She was a good person and very loving.”
Naceea Johnson said they plan to have a funeral sometime the weekend of June 9. She is hoping, but unsure how, they will be able to get their youngest daughter, 15-year-old sister, Layla Evans, there.
Evans was going with her boyfriend and friend to Walmart to get supplies to do Johnson’s hair and nails on Monday, according to Naceea Johnson. Evans had just left the hospital when the accident happened.
“They were going to do a girly day there in the bed,” she said. Evans broke her femur and pelvic bone, Naceea Johnson said, adding she has had two surgeries and will likely be hospitalized for weeks.
Johnson said she plans to try to get custody of her granddaughter.
“As a mother myself and being by myself with four lovely girls, she left a beautiful gift and I know only God gave me (her) because he knew I couldn’t take the passing of her,” Johnson said.
She added: “I don’t know how mothers and fathers have dealt with this. This is so hard.”
A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with expenses. It is available at rb.gy/8x9ly.