Mother of 17-year-old murder victim says son and suspect went to school, church together

Mother of 17-year-old murder victim says son and suspect went to school, church together

A community is mourning after two teenagers were shot and killed Monday night on Weis Lane off of Barrancas Avenue. The crime scene tape is still up, but for one of the victim's families, it still seems like a bad nightmare. Julius Lewis's mother, Tabitha Johnson, said he was the love of her life.

"This man took a great soul, someone I'll never get back. I want him to walk through the door, I keep looking at the door, this has got to be a mistake," said Johnson.

The sheriff's office report states that 19-year-old Gideon Fussner shot and killed 17-year-old Julius and 19-year-old Raymond Martinez. The report said there was some drama regarding a girl, but the victims had done nothing to threaten Fussner.

The family has no idea why he was targeted, especially because Julius and Gideon had been friends since they were little.

Johnson said, "They went to Warrington Elementary, they went to church on Wednesdays with his mother. He would come over here and stay, and Julius would go over there and stay. They have pictures together since they were 10."

The family is trying to celebrate Julius's life. He received many awards as an A- honor roll student. He even received an award from former President Barack Obama for his academic success.

His sister, Daisjia Johnson said, "The whole city loved him, the whole school is hurt. Two of the most funniest, handsome people weren't spared."

They said he will be missed by his many friends and coworkers. Not only was he a full-time student, he worked at McGuire's Irish Pub.

General Manager Max Murphy said, "The staff has been really sad the last couple days. We found out the news, we all loved him. He was a part of the McGuire's family."

The family is still working out the funeral arrangement. They are hoping the state seeks the death penalty in this case. Fussner is being held at the Escambia County Jail on no bond.

The State Attorney's Office will be taking the case to a grand jury in the next few weeks.

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