COMPTON, Calif. (KABC) -- On Wednesday, grieving mother Movita Johnson-Harrell from Philadelphia joined a news conference with law enforcement in Los Angeles County and pleaded for help to solve the shooting death of her son. The incident happened last year in Compton. The sheriff's department announced a reward for information leading to the arrests of the suspects.
Johnson-Harrell continues to look for answers about the death of her 30-year-old son Donte Lee Johnson. The last time she saw him was the day before the shooting.
"On March 4, 2021, kissed me on the left cheek five times, looked me in my eyes and said, 'Mom, I love you. I'll see you later.' And the next time my son came home it was in a box," Johnson-Harrell said. "I am begging for the community's help right now."
According to investigators, Johnson, a Philadelphia resident, was in Compton visiting friends and family when the shooting occurred.
Johnson was killed at a shopping plaza on the corner of Long Beach Boulevard and Elm Street.
"Donte and his friends were encountered by an armed suspect who produced a handgun and began firing in their direction," said LASD Lieutenant Michael Gomez. "Donte was fatally struck by gunfire at the time."
Johnson is survived by his mother, father and his two children.
"He was a loyal son and devoted father to a 9-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son," Johnson-Harrell said. "Right before he was shot, he was sitting in the back seat of the car and facetiming his daughter."
Homicide investigators believe there are witnesses in the area who saw the suspects or know the suspects' identities. The suspects left the crime scene in a silver Chrysler PT Cruiser.
"The silver PT Cruiser was missing two front hub caps, contained oxidation on the roof and had a sticker on the lower left corner of the rear window," Gomez said.
Investigators believe this is gang-related, but said Johnson was an innocent victim. Anyone with information can call 323-890-5500, to stay anonymous call 1-800-222-8477.
"No piece of information is too small. No information is too big. Whatever it is, please call the detectives and share that information," Johnson-Harrell said. "We deserve justice."
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