STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- It’s an unthinkable tragedy to any mother and father. Two sons: Alphonso White, 27, and Michael Johnson, 19, both gunned down while working at Rally’s Restaurant in Virginia early Tuesday morning.
Their mother Mercedes White says they where closing the store when the shooting occurred.
“Alphonso was closing that night at 12:00a.m. He was in there closing the store and counting the money. And the two people he sent home early came back and I’m sure he opened the door, thinking they left something and the didn’t. They came back, robbed the store and killed my babies. They killed them! They shot them down, like dogs! The shot them down,” says White.
Their father, Curtis Johnson, got the call several hours later.
“I couldn’t believe that my sons were dead. I was pretty hysterical for a moment. I was just asking my wife what am I gonna do. I’m not gonna be able to live without my sons..it’s bad to have one son killed, but to have them both killed, together..and the way they was murdered,” says Johnson.
Both Alphonso and Michael were shot multiple times.
“Alphonzo was in the office, slumped over the chair shot, shot to death. And Michael was on the floor shot to death,” says White.
A delivery driver found the bodies inside the restaurant around 2:00am Tuesday. Police believe robbery was the motive and say the two people charged in the murder also worked at the restaurant.
The two suspects, Deandre Dunnaway, 22, and Cheari Edwards, 19, are charged with two counts of murder, armed robbery and conspiracy. White says what hurts the most, is that she met the two suspects before, when Alphonso opened his home to them on Thanksgiving.
The same two people who came in and shot my sons. He invited them over for thanksgiving and when they was there, I promise you, our spirit did not connect. And I told my son, something ain’t right with them. He said momma just chill out, it’s gonna be okay cause they ain’t got nobody. And we fed them, they ate at my sons table, we served them. We had a good time. Little did we know they were the ones that would kill my baby,” says White.
Both Alphonso and Michael were living in Virginia, striving to make a better life for them and their children.
“When I went in November to visit Alphonso, Michael went with me. And he went to get a job, he was going to start school. And I feel so bad cause I left him there! And I should’ve brought them home with me,” says White.
As the family prepares to lay both brothers to rest, Mercedes does have some comfort, knowing both of her boys had a strong relationship with God.
“Everytime I talk to my boys, I tell them and my girls..I say whatever you do in this life, put God first. And they did that. So I’m okay, I know they’re in heaven,” says White.
Visitation will be this Friday, January 18th, from 5-8p.m. at West Memorial Funeral home in Starkville. Their funeral will be held Saturday, January 19th, at Christian Faith Church on Gillespie Street in Starkville.
If you’d like to make a donation to the family, you can mail your donations to 294 Starkville, MS 39760 Attn: Curtis Johnson. or call (662) 312-5212.