New Orleans, LA – A New Orleans father has been arrested for allegedly murdering the suspect accused of killing his son as the suspect was on his way to a court hearing last week, according to police.
Hollis Carter, 21, was out on bond on two counts of second-degree murder and one county of attempted second-degree murder in connection with the March, 2021 deaths of Caleb Johnson, 18, and his stepsister, Breyiana Brown, 25, the Daily Beast reported.
Brown had recently been released from jail on a manslaughter charge and was wearing an ankle monitor at the time of her death, according to WVUE.
“Even though Breyiana Brown was the target, her brother was murdered and his acquaintance who was there was also wounded showing the collateral damage,” Metropolitan Crime Commission spokesperson Rafael Goyeneche told the news outlet.
Investigators said the double-homicide stemmed from a gun sale that went bad, and claimed Carter confessed to the shooting, according to the Associated Press.
His attorney, John Fuller, previously said he intended to argue that his client made a false confession because he was afraid of what the real killer might do to him if he named him.
New Orleans police said Carter and his mother were traveling in the area of Providence Place and Chef Menteur Highway on March 23 to attend pretrial motions in the case against him when a gunman inside a Ford F-150 rolled down the window and opened fire on Carter’s vehicle, WDSU reported.
The shooting was captured by a surveillance camera, according to the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD).
Police were able to match the vehicle’s license plate to Caleb Johnson’s father, 46-year-old Bokio Johnson, WDSU reported.
Bethel Baptist Community Church Pastor Mike Smith said he was nearby when the shots rang out, WVUE reported.
“When they heard it, everybody turned and they saw a gentleman standing out with his rifle pointing in the car,” Smith said.
The shooter then fled the scene.
Smith said the female driver of the vehicle fell out of the car a moment later, WVUE reported.
“She was hurt she couldn’t feel her legs and they called the police,” the pastor said. “She kept saying ‘my baby, he’s in the car is he ok?’”
When police arrived at the scene, they found the critically-injured woman lying on the ground, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, the Daily Beast reported.
Her son, Carter, was deceased inside the car with a gunshot wound to his head.
Police tracked Bokio Johnson down at his home the following day, WDSU reported.
He allegedly told investigators he was the only person driving his Ford F-150 the day Carter was killed, according to court records.
Bokio Johnson was subsequently arrested on charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder, WDSU reported.
His attorney, Michael Kennedy, said in a statement that the latest shooting is not a “matter of vigilante justice,” according to the Associated Press.
“While it is admittedly true that the victim in this matter was accused of the March 2021 murder of Mr. Johnson’s son and daughter, that does not, especially in a city like New Orleans, indicate that this is a matter of vigilante justice,” Kennedy said.
“If and when the State of Louisiana chooses to indict Mr. Johnson, I can state without question, we will stand together and loudly and clearly respond, ‘Not Guilty,’” the attorney added.
Kennedy claimed people have “jumped to conclusions” about the shooting and said his client is nothing more than a father-of-two and a “local tradesman,” the Associated Press reported.
“To think of (Johnson) as anything else at this point is reckless,” he added.
Fuller said Carter “was a good kid” who will never have a chance to clear his name, The Independent reported.
“He doesn’t deserve to have his obituary tainted by what were basically false charges,” Fuller said. “Street justice has resulted in an assurance that there would never be any closure in this case.”
He said Carter was abiding by his conditions of release and was loved by his family, The Independent reported.
“This is tragic,” Fuller said.
Carter’s mother remained hospitalized in critical condition late last week, WVUE reported.