Benton Harbor police confirm suspicious death is homicide; surveillance video of three suspects released

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BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – Investigators confirmed the death of longtime Benton Harbor resident Leon Johnson, 74—known as ‘Red’ to his friends and family—is a homicide.

Johnson was found dead on Sunday, shot to death, in what police believe may have been a robbery.

His death is a shock to those who knew him—including Public Safety Director Dan McGinnis.

“No one deserves to be murdered,” said neighbor and friend Randell Dyson. “He was a great guy, just down to Earth, and he didn’t deserve this at all.”

“This type of thing cannot be tolerated,” said McGinnis.

“Leon Johnson. I’ve known him for years. I’ve known his family. We have ties. Quite frankly, I’m taking it personally,” said McGinnis. “This type of thing cannot be tolerated.”

ABC57 obtained the surveillance video of three potential suspects seen approaching Johnson’s front door Saturday evening—two of them hid their faces after they saw the security camera set up by the door.

If anyone recognizes them—Director McGinnis wants to hear from them.

“If a citizen of Benton Harbor can’t be safe in their own home, where can they be safe at?” he asked. “This should really, really infuriate members of the community.”

Neighbors like Dyson are infuriated by the gun violence in the city.

“Think before you pull the trigger! Because the life you save may be your own in some ways,” said Dyson. “Stop it! Please! I mean, come on, now.”

McGinnis added “The people of Benton Harbor are sick and tired of being sick and tired. And I think they’re seeing now, if they step up to help the police, we can help clean up their communities.”

If you know anything about this murder, or recognize the three suspects—you are urged to call Benton Harbor Public Safety detectives at (269)-845-6948.

All callers will remain anonymous.

Leon Johnson will be laid to rest on Saturday, February 4.

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