NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A family is still waiting for closure eight years after a father of three was shot and killed just south of downtown Nashville.
On July 26, 2014, Montinez Johnson had just put his daughter to bed, and was outside his girlfriend's apartment on University Court celebrating a friend's birthday. Metro Police said a tall, stocky man wearing an orange shirt ran up to the group and shot Montinez, his cousin and best friend.
The 25-year-old was rushed to the hospital but didn't survive. His mother said she will never forget learning her youngest son had been shot, and she has been heartbroken ever since.
"That was the worst day of my life, seeing my son there, lifeless," said Nedra Jones, Johnson's mother. "You expect to bury your parents, not your children. Especially when they didn’t deserve to die."
The two other men who were shot did survive.
Matthew Filter, a detective with the Metro Nashville Police Department's Cold Case Unit, said police did identify some suspects in the case, but there was not enough evidence to prosecute them. Now, he said tips from the public with information on the shooting are needed to heat up this cold case.
"We’ve got a lot of information and some evidence, but it isn’t enough," said Filter. "We need something to push it over the top, so we can hold someone accountable for this murder."
"I still pray every day someone tells something and this person gets caught," said Jones.
Jones said her life has been a "living hell" since her son was killed. To help her get through dark days, she has relied on her faith, family and Johnson's three daughters.
"I hate he didn’t get to see his children grow up because he has some beautiful girls," said Jones.
Jones said she is still hopeful her son's killer will be caught, and she will find closure.
"We try and keep his memory alive," said Jones. "I pray every day all day that answers will finally come."
If you have any information about Johnson's murder, you can call the Metro Police Department Cold Case Unit at 615-862-7803. You can also call Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME.