Ligonier murder suspect may have tossed gun in LaGrange County

2018-03-09

LIGONIER – Two women who accompanied Michael Johnson to an apartment complex in Ligonier where he allegedly shot two people are now charged with aiding murder...and there’s some unfinished business about the case that LaGrange County residents need to know.

Noble County Prosecutor Eric Blackman filed murder charges against Johnson, as well as 30-year-old Tiffani Cox of Kendallville and 25-year-old Kyra Frost of Fort Wayne on Friday. Those charges follow the shooting deaths of Justin Adams and Amanda Feldstein at the Riverside Villa Apartments in Ligonier Monday evening.

"I had a chance to do some additional research and, quite honestly, some soul searching. We believe that their involvement in this case was more than just being present at the scene. That they took affirmative steps to participate in this robbery, a robbery I might add, over a purse," Blackman said Friday during a news conference.

Ligonier Police Chief Bryan Shearer says the 35-year-old Johnson from Fort Wayne confessed to going to the apartment under the guise of dealing some methamphetamine but intended to steal an expensive designer purse.

"We have confirmed what we thought was the story we gave on Tuesday. We confirmed that by Michael Johnson admitting his role in shooting the two victims at that location," Shearer said.

Johnson is charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder for firing a shot at another female who survived.

Shearer cautioned LaGrange County residents that the handgun used in the crime may have been tossed along an unknown road.

"If you live in LaGrange County, where we believe these folks fled to after they committed the crime, to be aware of this firearm possibly being in an unknown location. That's disturbing to me. So if you're in your front yard, or have fields or ditch lines please pay attention to that. That thing has done enough damage and we want to make sure that we get that taken care of."

Blackman says Johnson couldn’t remember the route he took from Ligonier to Lagrange and so the gun could be anywhere.

"Until the Lagrange deputy marshal located the matching vehicle and began the pursuit, we don't know their direct route of travel. I do believe law enforcement was going to try and trace the path where the Lagrange county officer followed and maybe see if there's something along there. But between that point and here, we're not sure of the route."

That handgun remains a significant safety hazard and anyone who finds it is asked to call police.

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