“Brought them here for a better life, make sure they had a place to stay,” said Josephine Johnson.
ST PAUL, Minn. — Josephine Johnson and her husband Harold remember 30-year-old niece D’Zondria and her two children, 11-year-old Ja’ Corbie and 14-year-old La’ Porsha.
“She loved basketball,” Harold said, talking about his 14-year-old La’ Porsha. “Every time you saw her, she had a basketball in her hands.”
Harold and Josephine confirmed that D’Zondria and her two children were the three people killed in Saturday afternoon’s shooting on Jessie Street in St. Paul. Police say they have taken a person of interest into custody.
Harold said he went to the family’s home just after 3 p.m. Saturday to check on them when he noticed that the front door was cracked.
“So I pushed the door in, when I pushed the door in, I didn’t know that my great niece was behind the door,” he said.
That’s when he went inside.
“I saw my niece laying on the couch, like that, then I grabbed her and there was no response, so I ran out of the house and told my wife she needs to call 911,” Harold said.
St. Paul police responded and found all three victims suffering from gunshot wounds. They say two victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Harold’s great-nephew was taken to a hospital, where he later died from his injuries.
“My nephew was protecting his mama, that’s what he do, protect his mom,” he says. “When I walked in the house he said, ‘Uncle help me.’”
While police continue to investigate, the family is searching for answers.
“Those were kids,” says Josephine. “Kids shouldn’t have to go through that.”