Bakery owner, mugged days ago, found murdered

December 8, 2010 8:30:49 PM PST
One-by-one they returned from their jobs Wednesday night and saw the candles outside their neighborhood bakery.

It's been a fixture here in Crown Heights for nearly 30 years. Only now, Mervyn Johnson, the owner, is gone.

"His loss is our loss," said one resident.

"I think he was one of the best persons I ever had... as a brother? and I will miss him," Alvin Johnson said, weeping.

Everyone in the neighborhood knew Merv, and now they are mourning his murder.

"Good man, very, very good man!" said a Crown Heights resident.

68-year-old Johnson was shot through the head outside his apartment building at 8:30 Tuesday night.

The bullet crashed through the window of a yeshiva across the street.

Eyewitness news has learned that the killer was seen on surveillance video moments later stashing the murder weapon on a light box on Sterling Street.

Sources familiar with the case say detectives have recovered the weapon which could help pinpoint the suspect.

The motive is still not clear.

But Johnson was the victim of a mugging in the lobby of his apartment building last week.

His brother says he's convinced there's a connection.

"This is why they shot him in the head," he said. "Because he knew who was doing it."

Residents say the sad irony is that Merv Johnson was hoping to leave New York soon.

"He was planning to retire and he was going home to open a bakery in Trinidad," friend Ann Ahyoung said.

If anyone needed a handout, friends say Merv would have given it away.

"He was such a nice, gentle man. He would give you the clothes off his back," Earnie Harris said.

Instead, he was killed and his brother wonders for what?

"My brother lost his life for 10 dollars," he said.

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