Steven Ray Johnson, 17, was a junior at Montbello High School where he excelled in sports. A member of the basketball team, he had already attracted scholarship interest from the University of Florida.
Steven was popular with his peers. “Too popular,” said his mother, Kay Jones. He was also involved in student activities, notably Brother to Brothers, a group of Afro-Americans who discussed social change and how to get past gangs. Kay describes her son as “A loving person.”
Steven was at a party with other kids following a basketball game on January 7, 1995. An altercation broke out. He was trying to break it up when he was shot by a gang member. The killer has never been identified, much less prosecuted. Investigators were unable to elicit information from the 16-year-old witnesses to the crime.