In a heartbreaking chain of events Thursday, a well-known South Florida pastor was shot dead after he refused to hand over his fake gold chain to two men who tried to rob him as he left a local market.
Police told Local 10 News that pastor Kenneth Johnson, 67, of Power of Faith Deliverance Ministries, was ambushed by at least two men in what they Know was a robbery attempt.
Witnesses say that the robbers had targeted a fake gold chain the pastor had around his neck and they struggled over it before the senior citizen was shot dead.
Johnson’s wife, Latoya, grieved over the loss of her husband after hearing the news, telling News 10 that her world is now gone.
“He was my world. He was my world,” she said. “He was a good pastor, a kind, good-hearted man. Why would they do that? Why would they take his life? Just take the chain and go home.”
Mohammad Bashier, the supermarket owner who witnessed the murder, recalled the pastor as “a very nice man.”
“I heard the shot. They went up behind him. And one grabbed him, and the other shot him,” said Bashier.
Police questioned two men in connection with the pastor’s death but no arrests have been made.
Pastor Johnson had served in Liberty City for more than a decade and friends in the area said he was a man who would open his heart and his wallet to help the community.
“He’d give anybody his last,” Billy Denson, a Liberty City resident told News 10. “He didn’t even have to know you and he would give you his last.”
Community leaders now believe that the pastor’s death could spark an awakening in the community because of how connected he was.
“The rules of the street were broken because this guy lives and operates in this area,” said pastor Vinson Spann, a longtime friend of Johnson. “He feeds them, he gives his clothes.”