Shooting between family members leaves one person dead

The violent scene occurred just after 9:00 p.m. Wednesday.
The violent scene occurred just after 9:00 p.m. Wednesday.
Sylvester Johnson (Source:
Sylvester Johnson (Source:

By Chip Washington - bio | email

TUNICA, MS (WMC-TV) - Authorities in Tunica are investigating a shooting between two family members that left one person dead.

The violent scene occurred just after 9:00 p.m. Wednesday in the garage of a home on Terrell Street in Tunica.

"My officers discovered we had one female who had been shot, and we had an individual who was being detained by an outside agency, the Department of Safety, when we arrived on the scene," said Randy Stewart of the Tunica County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators found 47-year-old Rhonda Johnson dead. Her husband, Sylvester Johnson, was taken into custody after she was apparently shot several times after an altercation.

Late Thursday afternoon, he was charged with murder.

Johnson's son, Jarrell Layton, was not was not at home when the shooting occurred, but is now dealing with the loss.

"I have no idea about what provoked it, but I know whatever it was wasn't worth the murder of my mother," Layton said.

Layton's half-sister, age 9, was at home and witnessed the shooting.

Thursday, investigators released few details about the shooting, referring questions to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. Rhonda Johnson's body was taken to Jackson, where an autopsy will be performed to determine her exact of death.

"My mama was a strong lady,' Layton said. "She didn't do nothing but give positive influence.  Every day, she would wake up, she would have something positive to say."

Sylvester Johnson's brother, Robert, said the entire family would share in the loss.

"I would like to send out to the Layton family that it's a loss also to our family, and its like losing a sister and a brother," he said.

Sylvester Johnson is currently being held in the Tunica County Jail.

Rhonda Johnson had worked at the Tunica Airport as a TSA security officer since 2007. Sylvester Johnson had just recently retired from his job as a warden with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife.

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