Mechiko Johnson knows what it’s like to lose a child.
She lost both her sons within the last few years to a terminal illness and suicide. But Johnson still feels the pain like it was just yesterday.
“They’re going to have to tell their mothers what happened to their babies,” Johnson said, pointing toward homicide detectives. “No parent should be burying their child. The child should be burying the parent.”
Just before 10 p.m. Tuesday night Baltimore Police officers were called to the 1400 block of North Milton Ave. for a shooting. When officers arrived, they found a man who had been shot in the chest. The man was taken to Shock Trauma and police have not yet released his condition. Homicide detectives were investigating the shooting.
Johnson, who’s lived in the neighborhood for 22 years, was playing cards and listening to gospel music on her mint-green Bluetooth speaker when the shooting happened. She didn’t hear anything but later saw the flashing police lights.
Baltimore is on pace to surpass 300 homicides for the fifth year in a row. The 55-year-old called the killings “senseless.”
“What happened to settling the score with our fists,” Johnson said. “What happened to compassion, mercy and empathy?”
Johnson’s daughter recently moved to Virginia because she wanted a safer place to raise her two children. Now, the long-time Baltimore resident is thinking of following so she can feel safer, be closer to her grandchildren and get away from the too-frequent reminders of what she’s lost.