'This is for him': Family, friends hold vigil for 19-year-old Virginia Beach athlete shot and killed at gas station

VB Jawan Johnson vigil (June 3)
VB Jawan Johnson vigil (June 3)
Posted at 10:35 PM, Jun 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-13 15:27:59-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Friday night, a Virginia Beach family mourned the loss of a 19-year-old who was shot and killed Tuesday night.

The Sunoco gas station right off Lynnhaven Parkway marks the spot where Jawan Johnson was killed earlier this week.

Johnson, an athlete, was preparing to graduate. News 3 reporter Kelsey Jones spoke with his aunt, Sheri Johnson, and she said tonight is about remembering a bright light that was dimmed too soon.

Jawan Johnson
Jawan Johnson

Family, friends, music and red and black balloons filled the gas station - all to remember Jawan. Tuesday night, police found him dead at the scene from a gunshot wound to the chest.

It's a night his aunt said she will never forget.

When News 3 reporter Leondra Head spoke to Sheri the day after Jawan's death, Sheri told us she and her nephew were preparing to have dinner when he stepped out to the gas station. That's when she got the devastating call.

The grieving woman tells us the disturbing image of her nephew's lifeless body still lingers in her mind.

"We have his football team here. This is his brother; we have a lot of football players, a lot of friends. He was well-known; he was well-loved. Man, this is for him," said Sheri.

VB Jawan Johnson vigil (June 3)

As we spoke with Sheri, she told us she doesn't know why anyone would want to harm Jawan.

"That's something that I want to know. I want all the answers... I don't have all the answers," she said.

Police told News 3 earlier this week they have identified the shooter and that this is still a very active investigation. On June 13, VBPD told News 3 they have no updates on the status of the shooter or any potential charges.

We also spoke with Jawan's brother, and as you can imagine, it's pretty tough for him. But he tells us he also plays football, and when he steps on the field now, he's playing for Jawan.

Jawan's family is raising money for his funeral expenses. To donate, click here.