ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- "I was trying to explain to the boys that your dad's in heaven and that he's no longer around here, but he'll be here in spirit. I don't think they understand...I don't think they'll ever understand why this was done to him”, says Johnson’s fiancé Quintisha Hanna.
Hannah is struggling to comprehend why her children's father, 29-year-old Phillip Johnson was killed by police during a traffic stop Saturday morning. Family members tried to reach him during his last moments, but didn't make it in time.
"The phone was out there where he was at. They said the phone was chirping or something and it was lighting up. So I said he's gone then”, says Johnson’s Grandmother Carmera Johnson.
Johnson was fatally shot by police after the vehicle he was a passenger in, was pulled over to be questioned about a report of shots being fired. Investigators say they found a handgun in the car following the shooting, but family members who were with Johnson earlier in the night say they have a hard time believing it was his.
Delregan Stevenson, Johnson’s uncle, says, "I've never seen him with a weapon, he's never had a reason to carry a weapon. We had just left the club, we were enjoying ourselves, taking pictures, had a few drinks, we were happy, we left safe."
Johnson's family says they weren't given any information about what happened leading up to their loved one's death, and are still looking for answers; including why they say police didn't cover the 29-year-old's body [or take him off the ground] after the incident, a scene Johnson’s father says he witnessed three hours after the shooting.
"I was just trying to get over there to see my boy...my thing is, why was he out there all that time? He was still lying there an hour and a half after I got there...he was still there”, says Johnson’s father, Phillip Johnson Sr.