Neighborhood shooting near-miss won’t stop Louisville volunteer’s charity work

Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 6:24 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - An act of charity came close to costing a Louisville woman her life. But Elondra Johnson said neighborhood violence will not stop her work.

“The angels had me, Lord, thank you,” Johnson said. “I got a lot to thank God for.”

Johnson was delivering donated items to the Shawnee Community Center. She was parked on the curb and waiting for the doors to open 8:30 a.m. Friday morning when she was caught in the line of fire of the city’s deadly violence.

She heard three shots, one of them shattering the back window of her car as she sat in the front seat.

“I may be a nervous wreck, but I’m ok,” Johnson said. “But I’m going to tell you why I’m ok. My brain is not on that dashboard. That’s why I’m ok.”

Johnson said the intended target appeared to be the driver of another car on the road behind her.

After the shots were fired, she said that driver then sped into the intersection of South 37th Street and Del Park Terrace, where he ran into a parked pickup truck.

Johnson said the driver then got out of his car and yelled to her not to call police.

“I said you’re crazy,” Johnson said. “I was calling the police while he was telling me don’t call the police.”

Both the driver and the gunman fled the scene.

The potentially deadly violence is in stark contrast to the goodwill created by volunteers like Elondra Johnson.

A Metro Recreation spokesman described the incident, which happened so close to a community center, as rare.

“It’s frustrating,” Ben Johnson, Assistant Director for Metro Recreation said. “But we have to be where we are as a society and the proliferation of guns in our community. So that is something we really need to take a hard look at. These are the kinds of things that can happen anywhere.”

Johnson said in the fear of the moment, she briefly considered abandoning her charity work and staying home. But she said that thought was quickly overwhelmed by a resolve to fight back.

“This is our neighborhood,” Johnson said. “We got to have something to do. We can’t let stuff like this just tear us apart and say I’m not coming no more. Don’t give the devil that victory. Don’t give him that power. That’s why I’m coming back.”

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