Antioch slaying victim was against domestic violence, mother says

Humboldt County woman says her son believed in standing up to domestic violence

By Malaika Fraley


MARTINEZ — A 26-year-old Antioch man police say was killed in retaliation for protecting a housemate from an abusive ex-boyfriend firmly believed in defending women against domestic violence, the victim’s mother said…

…”This is devastating,” Johnson’s mother, Tami Savage, said through sobs from her home in Shelter Cove, Humboldt County, on Thursday. “This man walked into my ex-husband’s home and he shot my son.”…

…”I am the type who when I saw a man beating his wife … I would jump in to stop it, and my son would see that,” Savage said. “That was how my son was raised, learning how to protect women. He believed that no man should ever hit a woman.”

Johnson punched Gunning in the face about a month ago to stop Gunning from physically assaulting his ex-girlfriend, police said. Johnson lived with the woman, her sister, and his stepfather in his stepfather’s house.

Johnson, the women, and the sister’s boyfriend were watching a movie Monday night when Gunning showed up unexpectedly with a gun to confront Johnson, police said…

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