Friends mourn 14-year-old boy killed in Fuller Park shooting 1 year later: 'Missing from my heart'

Teen suspect charged with shooting at responding Chicago police officers; no one charged in Pierre Johnson's murder

Sunday, June 2, 2024
Friends mourn teen killed in South Side shooting 1 year later
Loved ones mourned Saturday for Pierre Johnson, 14, a year after he was killed in Fuller Park. A suspect was charged with shooting at Chicago police.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It has been one year since a teen was killed in a shooting on the city's South Side. Another teen was arrested after allegedly shooting at Chicago police officers who were responding to the initial shooting.

Despite a mountain of evidence at the shooting scene, with some 80 shots fired by multiple offenders and witnesses present, one year later no one is in custody for 14-year-old Pierre Johnson's murder.

Friends, teammates and loved-ones gathered Saturday to share pizza and memories of Johnson, whose death still leaves a void.

ABC7 Chicago is now streaming 24/7. Click here to watch

"I don't think it ever gets less intense," said Chris Cozzi, who cared for Johnson. "You know, you get better at getting through each day."

Pierre was shot and killed on June 1, 2023 in the 4200 block of South Wells Street while sitting on a neighbor's porch in the Fuller Park neighborhood. Four others were wounded in the shooting.

"I don't really like to think about it," Johnson's friend Josh Martinez said. "It's just hard to think about."

Johnson lived with his family in Fuller Park, but spent summers and weekends during the school year with Cozzi and her family at their Southwest Side home, in part to escape the violence in his neighborhood. His brother, years earlier, was also a shooting victim.

Before his death, Johnson was thriving and playing travel baseball with teammates who were more like brothers.

"I feel like something's missing from my heart, you know. It's sad," Johnson's friend Blake Heyer said. "You know, I remember all the good times I had with him, remember how much he meant to us, how much of a joy he was to be around."

SEE ALSO | 11th annual 'Party 4 Peace' honors life of teen Chicago gun violence victim Hadiya Pendleton

One year later, Johnson's family is still waiting for justice.

Police had charged a 16-year-old boy for opening fire on responding officers, but one year later no one is in custody for Johnson's murder. His loved ones are still hoping for a break in the case.

"Not so much to make someone accountable and put someone in jail, but to make sure this behavior is called out and is as shocking to everybody else as it was to us and stops," Cozzi said.

Cozzi is now working to set up a nonprofit to give at-risk youth opportunities to play baseball. She hopes to name it "Pierre's Way."

INTERACTIVE SAFETY TRACKER Track crime and safety in your neighborhood