PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Junie Johnson was sitting on the couch inside his Providence apartment when gunfire tore through the living room.

The 21-year-old father-to-be was killed and his friend was wounded.

“We miss him. We love him,” his father Oscar Mitchell Jr. said. “He’s in God’s hands now.”

That was back in October 2007, and it’s a night Johnson’s family will never forget.

“It was like a knife,” his cousin Tiffanie Mitchell said. “I remember that night so well.”

Loretta Johnson-Thornton told 12 News the bullets barely missed her brother’s pregnant girlfriend, who had just walked in the door.

“When the gunshots rang out … he went to block her,” Johnson-Thornton said. “He ended up [taking] all of the shots because he wanted to protect her. He wanted to protect that baby.”

Oscar Johnson lived with his brother, but wasn’t home at the time.

“I got back to the house it was all taped off,” he recalled.

Providence Police Maj. David Lapatin told 12 News detectives have suspects in mind, but they have yet to build a solid case against them.

No one who was inside the apartment saw who pulled the trigger.

“The first thing you do when you hear it … you hit the floor,” Lapatin said. “You don’t go looking out the window to see who did it.”

Throughout the years, Junie’s family has heard a number of theories as to why someone would want to kill him.

But none of those theories have led them to the truth.

“We just need peace,” Mitchell said. “We just need the healing process to start. Even though it won’t help his son, it will at least show his son that his family did not give up.”

Every year, the Johnson family stands vigil outside the Wisdom Avenue apartment where Junie was killed in hopes that one day, justice is served.

“We’re going to continue to speak up, because we’re not letting his life just go unnoticed,” Johnson-Thornton said. “It’s important to us.”

Johnson-Thornton has started a shelter for women and children in her brother’s name in an effort to keep his memory alive.

Meanwhile, Lapatin said detectives are actively working to put Junie’s killer behind bars.

Anyone with information regarding Junie’s death is asked to contact the Providence Police Department at (401) 272-3121.

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