By Jeff Wagner


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Marcus Johnson had a passion for fashion, showcasing his style on social media. It slowly became his own business venture.

“He just kind of made his own clothing for himself and people loved it so much they started purchasing it,” Johnson’s sister Jacori Soto said.

That kept her busy taking pictures of him in his outfits with the label “Splash,” his brand name, on his clothes.

Those memories in her phone mean more now than she ever expected.

“I’m so grateful because the most thing we can cherish is to go back to those photos,” Soto said.

Late Saturday night, a driver called 911 after finding Johnson lying in the middle of the street in a pool of blood near North Kennard Street and Ross Avenue in St. Paul.

The 19-year-old had been shot and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Soto said her brother didn’t live nor have friends in that area.

“Marcus was never a type to start an altercation, he was never the type to engage in an altercation,” Soto said. “I think jealousy and (envy) plays a part in anything.”

Police spent hours gathering evidence early Sunday morning but haven’t made an arrest.

Later that night, former classmates of Johnson from St. Agnes School, held a vigil at the intersection.

“That’s exactly what he would have done for his classmates. He would for anyone,” Soto said. “He would run and make sure he supported them.”

Johnson volunteered with his church’s youth ministry program.

His Instagram page for his business doesn’t just show people wearing his clothing line. There’s pictures of him speaking to a class of students at Fridley Middle School, inspiring them to pursue their dreams like he did.

“He wanted to be a mentor to kids,” Soto said.

It’s those types of impressions on young people she hopes they never forget.

“We know that he’s resting in God’s presence. And I feel like with that peace from God, we are okay,” she said.

Soto said her family forgives the people responsible for her brother’s death and feels no hatred.

She’s just asking that anyone with information will come forward to police.

Investigators can be reached at 651-266-6650.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Johnson’s family.

Jeff Wagner

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