MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A young mother was laid to rest Friday, only hours before she was supposed to graduate high school.
Hundreds of people paid their respects to 18-year-old Myneisha Johnson, a Booker T. Washington senior who was killed by a stray bullet last weekend in Downtown Memphis.
The funeral was held at Progressive Missionary Baptist Church.
It was an emotional day as friends, family and classmates packed into the church.
They shared stories, laughs and tears remembering Johnson as resilient young woman with a bright future.
“She had so many people come out to he funeral. That’s how many people loved her,” said DeAngelo Parker, Johnson’s friend.
The church pews were packed on the gloomy Friday.
Friends and family wiped their eyes, remembering their friend they called “Shugnug” who brought sunshine into their lives.
“That beautiful smile she had, always happy,” said Parker.
The young mother was a Lady Warrior.
Her basketball jersey, signed by teammates, sat beside her casket.
Her coach even told stories of her strength on the court.
“She had the courage, she had the heart and she was fearless enough to take the last shot,” said Steven McKinney, the girl’s basketball coach.
The message from the reverend delivering the eulogy- it wasn’t Johnson’s time to go, but she would want her community to live on and be stronger.
“She would look at her teachers and say your work is not in vain, keep teaching, you can live,” said Reverend Jason Black of New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.
Johnson’s mentors told WREG she had turned her life around, was a good student, and was headed to college.
Now her principal hopes her tragic death can help get Memphis on the right path, and stop the violence that is taking too many young people filled with potential.
“If Booker T. Washington High School has anything to do with it this will be the moment,” said Principal Alisha Kiner.
The high school’s graduation is Saturday.
Johnson’s one-year-old son is set to accept her diploma on her behalf.
Johnson was gunned down around 12:30 Sunday at Second and Peabody when she was out celebrating her upcoming graduation.
Two other men were hit by bullets as well but are recovering.
Police said the man responsible is 19-year-old Kwasi Corbin.
According to investigators, Corbin said he fired an assault rifle into a crowd.
Sources said Corbin was trying to shoot someone in retaliation for another shooting.
Police records showed Corbin had several warrants out for violent crimes in Shelby County.
He had also been arrested in DeSoto County.
He is scheduled to be back in court May 31.