NEW ORLEANS — Edna Karr senior Caleb Johnson was weeks away from graduating when he was gunned down in an Algiers apartment complex last year along with his step-sister Breyiana Brown.
Hollis Carter, the 21-year-old man who police say confessed to the double-murder, was just minutes away from a court hearing Wednesday morning when he was fatally shot and his mother seriously wounded.
Now, in what appears to be the next turn in a tragic cycle of violence and retaliation, Caleb Johnson's father, 46-year-old Bokio Johnson, was booked Friday with Carter's killing.
The shooting on Chef Menteur Highway was caught on a video that shows an SUV car pulling up beside a sedan and a gunman opening fire on a sedan being driven by Carter and his mother. He died of a gunshot wound to the head.
Carter, arrested in April 2021, was behind bars for five months before he was released after making a $375,000, a bond that cost him or his family about $40,000. Court records show that he had been making his required court appearances.
Carter’s attorney John Fuller maintained his client’s innocence. He said Friday he had been preparing for trial in the case and try to prove that Carter’s gave a false confession out of fear of the actual gunman.
Criminal justice activist Nadra Enzi, also known as Captain Black, said that in this case, street justice appeared to arrive faster than courthouse justice.
“The justice system did not work for them and perhaps someone may have taken something into his own hands,” Enzi said.
Enzi said retaliation shootings have plagued New Orleans for decades, often scuttling a court case before it has a chance to move through the criminal justice system.
“Everybody thinks that the power is with the elected officials, but it's with the people,” Enzi said. “The people are going to have to decide, do we want more of our people dying in the streets? It's just that simple.”
Now, almost one year to the day after Caleb Johnson was buried, another funeral is being planned. And so is another court case for murder.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call NOPD homcide detective Brittany Kimbrough at 504-658-5300 or Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans at 504-822-1111.