COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The mother of a 22-year-old St. Louis woman said the man accused of killing a Sumter woman and her 5-year-old daughter is responsible for her daughter’s death, too.
Beverly Hill said her daughter was friends with Daunte Johnson, 28, after meeting him through a mutual friend in St. Louis in March. In the early morning hours of June 23, Hill said her daughter was at an apartment with Johnson and a few other people.
“The guy who’s apartment it is, it was his gun Daunte was playing with,” Hill said. “He was intoxicated, high on something and the kid who’s gun it was should have taken it away from him.”
Instead, Hill said Johnson shot her daughter in the head and fled, along with others inside at the time. St. Louis Police declared Aaliyah Stanley dead at the scene a short time later. Her death is being investigated as a homicide, according to her mother.
Hill alleged Johnson stole her daughter’s car after the shooting. About a month ago, she said she received a call from St. Louis law enforcement stating they tracked the stolen car to South Carolina.
“That woman and her child might be alive if they had just got him when they tracked the car,” she said.
St. Louis police have not commented on the investigation.
“I met him one time and I told her I don’t like him,” Hill said. “I said I feel uncomfortable around him. Something is right about him. I said don’t you ever bring him back around here ever again and she didn’t.”
Hill said she wasn’t surprised when she heard Johnson was being charged with the murder of Sharee Bradley in Sumter County.
“Once you kill someone, I feel like you don’t care anymore and can go on a spree,” she said. “We want justice for my daughter and my mother who had a heart attack upon learning what happened to her.”
On Friday, WIS also spoke with Shawn Johnson, the mother of Daunte Johnson. She said she learned of her son’s alleged involvement on Tuesday morning and rushed home from work to try to contact him. Three days later on Thursday, she was finally able to speak to him over the phone.
“Right now, like I said, I don't really have much to say to my son right now,” Johnson said. “My truth right now is trying to find this baby. That's it right there. That's all I can think about right now is this baby."
Johnson said her sole focus is on helping find Nevaeh whom investigators are still searching for. According to Sumter Police, Johnson told them he placed the child’s body in a city dumpster. By the time investigators got to it, it had been emptied and transported to the landfill.
This week, investigators spent days scouring through 230 tons of trash looking for the child’s body. So far, their search has turned up nothing.
“I knew he had some issues, but I would never in a million years think any issues like this,” Johnson said.
Johnson declined to speak about the specifics of her conversation with her son and said at this point in the case, she will do whatever she can to help bring closure to the family of the victims.