Dying 19-year-old helps authorities convict his killer

Published 12:04 am Saturday, February 2, 2019

CONVENT — Darrell Johnson didn’t have much time after being shot in the early morning hours of June 15, 2016.

The 19-year-old St. James Parish man was struck down while standing near the door of his aunt’s Lutcher home.

He was clinging to life and rushed to an area hospital.

It was during those frantic minutes after his shooting that authorities said Johnson made declarations to three different individuals, including medical staff, that Burnell Gordon shot him.

Burnell Gordon

Johnson succumbed to his injuries a short while after arriving to the hospital, but his declarations and evidence collected by detectives led to an arrest and, eventually, a conviction.

On Thursday, a St. James Parish jury found Gordon, 37, guilty of manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Judge Tess Stromberg tentatively set April 29 for sentencing pending a pre-sentence investigation.

Gordon faces up to 60 years in state prison, according to 23rd Judicial District Public Information Officer Tyler Cavalier.

Assistant District Attorneys Adam Koenig and Steven Tureau prosecuted the case.

Police were first notified of the shooting when Johnson’s aunt called 911 saying her nephew had just been shot in her Courseault Street home.

Arriving deputies learned Johnson had already been taken to an area hospital for a gunshot wound to the stomach.

Detectives conducted multiple interviews and learned Johnson, who had been at his aunt’s residence throughout the previous day, was shot “near the door of the residence in an ambush style attack,” Cavalier said.

Gordon subsequently turned himself in to detectives and was initially booked with second degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Gordon has two prior felony convictions for narcotics related charges.