Detroit man's family pleads for tips on 2014 murder

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Detroit — Family members of a Detroit man slain last year made a plea to the public Tuesday for help finding his killer or killers.

They asked anyone with information about the May 14, 2014, murder of Spencer Bennett-Johnson, 22, to contact Detroit police or Crime Stoppers of Michigan.

"Someone thought (Spencer's) life didn't mean anything, but they were wrong," said Wayne Johnson, Bennett-Johnson's father. "If anyone out there knows something, please say something. He's got family and we're still grieving.

"Say something so we can start healing."

He made the remarks Tuesday at a news conference at Crime Stoppers offices in Detroit. He was joined by his sister, Kenya Johnson.

The nonprofit crime fighting organization is offering a $5,200 cash reward for any information about Bennett-Johnson's murder. Tips are anonymous.

Bennett-Johnson was killed on Detroit's west side, according to Crime Stoppers. His father said Bennett-Johnson lived near Tireman Avenue and sometimes stayed with him in his house on the city's east side.

John Broad, Crime Stoppers president, said a passerby who was walking his dog found Bennett-Johnson's body about 1 a.m. at the entrance of the Head Start administration building on Seven Mile and Monica near Livernois on the city's west side.

Bennett-Johnson had been shot to death, Broad said.

"If you have any information, no matter how insignificant you think it is, we're asking that you please make a call to Crime Stoppers," he said.

His father and aunt said Bennett-Johnson was smart and fun-loving. He said his son also loved to write poetry, rapping, drawing and sports.

Five months before his death, he started a job with a auto parts maker called Android Industries, he said.

Johnson also said his son died just six weeks before his 23nd birthday.

"I remember when they came to my front door to tell me my son wasn't here anymore," said Johnson, 56, of Detroit. "I fell to my knees. It still hurts and it was over a year ago."

Kenya Johnson, 42, also of Detroit, reiterated her brother's plea for help with finding her nephew's killer.

"We just want justice," she said. "You just don't take someone's life like that."

Anyone with information about Bennett-Johnson's murder should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 773-2587, log on to www.1800speakup.org/ or text CSM and a tip to 274637.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2058