Teen Murder Suspect Told Police “He Did What He Had To Do”

A teenage boy, identified as Ahmal McGainey, was held Thursday on suspicion of second-degree murder while armed in connection to the October death of Johnie Lee Resper. He has been charged as an adult.

On October 1, police found Resper, 18, lying on his back and on the sidewalk along the 200 block of Adams Street Northeast suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest and a head injury. He was taken to a local hospital where he died.

McGainey, 17, was arrested on November 12.

MPD officers believe McGainey shot Resper in retaliation after witnessing Resper and two unidentified males stab and assault his friend.

According to charging documents, a witness told police it was stabbed by Resper in the 400 block of Rhode Island Avenue Northeast minutes before Resper’s death. It said that it had saw Resper and two other individuals as it was leaving a building to go meet up with McGainey and another friend. While walking with it’s friends, Resper and the two individuals jumped him, according to the witness.

According to court documents, the witness told police McGainey was with it that night and gave police a physical description of him. It said McGainey was wearing a black rolled up ski mask and tan pants. It identified McGainey in a photo provided by police.

In a interview with police, McGainey initially denied shooting Resper and told police he knew who had shot Resper, documents say. But, he later said that after the stabbing he witnessed an altercation. McGainey told police that he noticed a boy behind a car that he knows as Johnie arguing with a man. According to charging documents, he stopped and looked to see Resper holding up a gun and it appeared as if he was trying to shoot, but the gun jammed. McGainey told police that Resper was pointing the gun at him and the crowd, so “he did what he had to do.” He said he shot 2 or 3 times, but did not look because he was scared, court documents say.

A second witness told police it saw Resper pulling a bandana or mask up on to cover his face while crouching near a fence on the west side of the 2200 block of 3rd Street Northeast, documents say. It said Resper made a gesture that made it seem like he had a gun, but it didn’t see one. According to documents, the witness then saw McGainey and another individual approach on bicycles and they appeared to have guns. It heard the three men “trash talking” as it entered a building. Seconds later, the witness heard multiple gunshots.

Police located a ski mask yards away from Resper but found no firearm on him or near the scene.

Responding to a hit and run 17 days later, police located McGainey and his brother, who were stopped while standing outside of an unoccupied car where officers found a Colt .38-special revolver on the rear floor, documents state. According to forensic examinations, the weapon recovered is the same weapon that fired a bullet into Resper’s body and was removed by a medical examiner.

McGainey is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Nov. 24 at 9:30 before Judge Jennifer Anderson.

A copy of charging documents are below:

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