Family of man killed by security guard believes misunderstanding led to death

Melvin Johnson shot, killed Tuesday

DETROIT – The children of a man who was shot and killed Tuesday by a security guard on Detroit's west side have a lot of questions about the security guard's account of what happened.

The children said they first heard about the story on Local 4, not knowing it was their father who was killed. They are heartbroken and feel like there's more to the story than what's being told.

Melvin Johnson, 53, was a father of seven. Family members said he lived in Highland Park, where he took care of his aging mother and did house calls fixing people's cars.

"He is the top mechanic in Highland Park, as far as low income people," Arthur Brown, Johnson's son-in-law, said. "If you are in the low income bracket, the first person you call is Melvin Johnson."

Johnson was shot and killed Tuesday evening near an apartment complex at 7 Mile Road and West McNichols.

Police said a security guard was patrolling a construction site when she pulled the trigger.

"They're able to police an area and they're going too far because they don't have police training," Amanda Johnson, Johnson's daughter, said.

Police said Johnson was allegedly stealing construction materials when the security guard chased after him. When he wouldn't stop, that's when she fired shots.

Johnson's family believes it's all a misunderstanding and suspect he might have been in the area to fix someone's car.

"It was a horrible situation for both parties in this situation, but she never should have been in that position with a firearm in her hand to do a police officer's job," Brown said.

"I just feel like you could have called the police and handled it that way," Johnson said. "You're not a police officer, so I pray for you."

The family set up a GoFundMe account to help with funeral expenses. If you would like to help, you can click here.

Sign up for ClickOnDetroit Email Newsletters (click here) for more stories like this.

About the Authors: