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Shooting victim describes scene at vigil when shots rang out

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —One of the victims injured in a shootout at a vigil in south Memphis is telling her story.

The vigil was to honor 18-year-old Myneshia Johnson, a young mother killed downtown one year ago just days before her high school graduation. Police say she was hit by a bullet intended for someone else.

Monday night friends and family gathered to remember Johnson at the corner of St. Paul and Danny Thomas, which is by where she used to live. Witnesses said just as they were lighting candles men started shooting at each other across the streets, hitting three bystanders.

Instead of candles — flashing police lights. Instead of songs, stories and prayers — sirens.

"It was scary. It was really scary because you got babies out there and all the kids out there. You know older peoples out there. When that took place everybody just runnin' for cover. Children was fallin', baby was hollerin', just disaster out there," said Devita Baines.

Baines, Myneisha Johnson's godmother, calls herself blessed. She's recovering after one of the dozens of bullets shot into the crowd grazed her leg.

She said she showed up to the vigil just minutes before she was hit.

"I knew right then, I started praying while I was on the ground."

Baines, like the dozens of other family members and friends, came to remember the Booker T. Washington High School student they loved so much and who taken too soon. Friends said they had just started lighting candles when dozens of gunshots popped off.

"It's sad. It's sad. Make no sense," said one friend who came to honor Johnson.

Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings agreed.

"Besides enduring the loss of losing a daughter, which was a senseless crime, they can’t even honor their daughter by having a candlelight vigil," said Rallings.

Rallings said his officers are working to get the shooters off the streets.

"Our North Main station GIB, our multiagency gang unit and also our violent crimes unit are all collaborating resources so we can gather as many details as possible and solve this case," he said.

Baines hopes for answers too. While she recovers, she now has to try to explain the senseless violence.

"My grandbaby was out there and all she can say right now is ‘I’m scared,' and she 1 years old.’”

Rallings is hoping with so many people at the vigil someone saw something. If you did — call CrimeStoppers 901-528-CASH.