Vigil held for 54-year-old grandmother shot and killed in Philadelphia

Mary Johnson was a mother, grandmother, and manager at a local grocery store. She also owned her own event planning business.

BySharifa Jackson via WPVI logo
Monday, August 1, 2022
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Mary Johnson was a mother, grandmother, and manager at a local grocery store. She also owned her own event planning business.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Family and friends gathered to honor the life of 54-year-old Mary Johnson Sunday night after she was killed while caught in the crossfire as she was picking up her grandson in West Philadelphia.

Police say Johnson was fatally shot around 11:15 p.m. on Thursday, July 28 at 46th Street and Fairmount Avenue.

Her family says her death is the worst thing that could have happened to this community.

"If they would've known her, they would've never harmed her," said the victim's sister, Dawn Beckett-Singh. "I'm going to miss her so much."

Her impact was apparent from the large crowd. Red and black balloons were let go above the intersection of Lowber and Mt. Vernon streets for the vigil.

Mary Johnson

"When she got killed on 46th Street, she was not only a person who was just gunned down, she was somebody who was loved. And the incredible work she did in this community, we don't want it to go unsaid," said family friend Pamela Williams. "We want everybody in this city to know we want this murder solved."

Philadelphia police say Johnson died after being shot in the neck.

Neighbors report hearing multiple gunshots.

Police are unsure of what led up to the shooting. Officers are reviewing surveillance video that reportedly shows a crowd of 10 to 15 people nearby at the time of the gunfire.

"She was going to go pick my child up, and how do you just get shot? Lying on the ground, fighting for your life," said the victim's daughter, Dawn Beckett-Singh.

Family and friends say Johnson was known for her selflessness. She was a mother, grandmother, and manager at a local grocery store. She also owned her own event planning business.

Her home on Mount Vernon Street was always a safe place in the community.

"Her house was a place to go get a meal. There's a sister around here who got clean because Mary told her to come and sit in her pool every day. She's 30 years clean," Williams said.

Those mourning Johnson say they want the suspects to turn themselves in.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call police at 215-686-TIPS.