Family friends of a 19-year-old man shot and killed Friday evening on Elvin Drive near Burbank Drive said Saturday that he was well-mannered and trying to pursue a basketball career before his death.
Malcolm Fitzgerald Johnson, 8736 Elvin Drive, was shot at 944 Elvin Drive at about 11:15 p.m. Friday, East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks said in a news release.
Johnson got into an argument with a group of people in the street, which led to one person shooting Johnson, Hicks said.
Johnson ran back to a vehicle and was driven to a hospital, where he later died, Hicks said.
Deputies continued their investigation of the shooting Saturday, Hicks said.
Donald Ray Johnson Jr. — no relation — said his son played youth basketball with Malcolm Johnson and that the slain teenager spent two or three nights a week at his family’s home.
“He’s basically considered one of our family members,” Donald Johnson said.
Donald Johnson said his son and Malcolm Johnson were returning Friday evening from a mall when Malcolm Johnson thought he saw his ex-girlfriend.
Malcolm Johnson got out of the car to speak to the girl but then realized it wasn’t her, Donald Johnson said.
A man with the girl approached Malcolm Johnson and began arguing with him before shooting him, Donald Johnson said.
Donald Johnson, an officer with the Baton Rouge Police Department, said he had just attended a meeting about the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination Project on Friday, only hours before the homicide.
“It happened to one of my own,” Donald Johnson said. “It really hurts.”
Malcolm Johnson was polite to everyone he met and never had a frown on his face, Donald Johnson said. He was considering joining the Air Force.
“He was just not one of those kids that you would think that something like this would happen to,” Donald Johnson said.
Malcolm Johnson was a member of the Gardere Celtics, a youth basketball team in a Gardere neighborhood league, said Darin Fontenette, the team’s coach.
Fontenette said Johnson, a 6-foot-4-inch power forward, was working on getting a GED diploma so he could play college basketball.
The Celtics were supposed to play a game Saturday morning, but canceled it after Johnson’s death, Fontenette said. The teens had driven to the mall to buy shorts for the game.
“It just hurts,” Fontenette said. “He was just really a good kid.”
Johnson was one of the most respectful players on the team, Fontenette said.
“I want us to come together so we can try to find out who the killer is, and I want whoever knows about it to really speak on it,” Fontenette said. “If the person who’s got the gun shot somebody and got away, he’s going to do it again.”
Malcolm Johnson’s family declined comment Saturday.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office at (225) 389-5000 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-STOP.