Two men have been arrested after a 67-year-old pastor was shot and killed Thursday evening in the Liberty City area of Miami, over what his family said was a fake gold necklace.
Pastor Kenneth Johnson was leaving City Market on the 1200 block of Northwest 62nd Avenue when he was confronted by two men who wanted to rob him.
"As soon as he got outside, the two guys were waiting for him outside," said Mohammad Bashir of City Market. "They jumped on him. One is holding him and the other shot him here."
Miami Police said Johnson tried fighting the men off, but was shot in chest. A patrol officer nearby heard the gunfire and ran to the scene. He saw the gunmen running and chased them and called for backup to get them in custody.
Johnson was taken to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital, but didn't survive his injuries.
"Why would they do that? Why would they take his life? Just take the chain and don't hurt him," said his wife, Latoya Jackson.
Johnson was a pastor at Faith Deliverance Church.
"He was my world, he was my world. He was a good pastor, he was a kind, good hearted man," said Jackson. "He helped everybody no matter what wrong they did to him, he helped everybody."
Miami Police said two men, 20-year-old Larry Flowers and 19-year-old Tyreke Desire (below), were arrested and charged in the shooting.
Police said they don't think the pair knew the man was a pastor.
"I do not believe they knew who the pastor was," said Chief Manuel Orosa. "I believe it was more of an opportunistic type of robbery."
Both men face first-degree murder and resisting arrest charges, and both were being held without bond Friday. It was unknown whether they have attorneys.
Other members of the Liberty City religious community said they were shocked by the shooting.
"He was a very faithful man who worked diligently to help others," said Minister George Ellis. "That's why it's so sad and what I'm hearing is he was shot over a chain that wasn't real."
"The man, he's a testament to good work," said Pastor Vinson Spann. "He helps people. He gives his money. He gives his last dime. Put people in this house that take from him and steal from him and they still love him because he's genuine. He's a genuine man. He's my greatest member."
The pastor's death comes months after a 67-year-old mother of six was killed outside a store on the same block. It also comes a little more than two weeks after a mass shooting a few streets away where two people died and seven others were injured.
"The community needs to be up in arms, trying to find something to do to work with our young people to avoid violence and that's what if you look at people involved in crime today they were young people not adults," said Ellis.