Arrest warrant issued for suspect in August 1 murder

An arrest warrant has been issued for the man who is suspected of killing Justin Sharp around 2:30 a.m. August 1 in South Bend.

Investigators with the County Metro Homicide Unit are searching for Bryant Lawrence Johnson for murder, attempted murder and battery.

South Bend Police responded to the Always Open gas station at LaSalle and Lafayette streets at approximately 2:30 a.m. August 1 for reports of shots fired.

According to the probable cause affidavit, while officers were canvassing the area, a green and silver Chevrolet Suburban pulled into the parking lot. The driver told officers he needed help.

A passenger in the vehicle had been shot and was later pronounced dead by medics.

The driver, Stephen Johnson, had also been shot and was transported to the hospital for treatment.

The investigation revealed the shooting happened in the southbound lanes of Lafayette Street at the intersection with LaSalle.

Witnesses told investigators the Suburban and a tan or gray Tahoe were side by side at the intersection facing south and there was a white car behind one of the vehicles, according to the probable cause affidavit.

The Suburban had bullet holes in the door panel of the front passenger seat and two at the rear of the vehicle just below the driver's side taillight.

There were also three bullet holes in the front passenger window and the driver's window had been shot out.

Investigators said Shot Spotter recorded a total of 11 shots.

Johnson told investigators he had an ongoing issue with a man named Dennis Patton, which later involved Bryant Lawrence Johnson, reports said.

Stephen Johnson is not related to Bryant Johnson.

Investigators discovered Bryant has a gray Tahoe registered to him.

The back seat passenger of the Suburban told investigators the person who fired the shots was the driver of the Tahoe, reports said. He described the driver as a light skinned African American man with dread locks.

Officers attempted to locate Bryant at his last known address in Elkhart.

Officers spoke with Bryant's mother, who lives nearby. She said he was supposed to be living at a home she owns in Hammond, Indiana. She also told police Bryant sold his Tahoe.

She took officers to the home where Bryant had been staying and there were no clothes or personal effects.

Bryant's mother gave officers his phone number so they could attempt to contact him.

Bryant faces one count of murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of battery.

He has not been arrested.

If you have any information about his whereabouts, contact Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP.

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