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CBS3 Mysteries: Standout teen athlete Tyrese Johnson's family demanding justice

CBS3 Mysteries: Standout teen athlete Tyrese Johnson's family demanding justice
CBS3 Mysteries: Standout teen athlete Tyrese Johnson's family demanding justice 03:56

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A standout athlete and accomplished student. Seventeen-year-old Tyrese Johnson had a bright future until gun violence cut his life short. His family only wants answers, but more than five years after his murder, the case is still at a standstill.

Tyrese was looking forward to the next chapter.

It was February 2017. He was an honor-roll student at Prep Charter and was even taking courses at Philadelphia Community College.

Tracey Anderson, Tyrese's guardian or "Bonus Mom," as she was known, and Lisa Brunson-Daniels, his aunt, sat down with Eyewitness News feet from where Tyrese was gunned down five-and-a-half years ago just before noon on Feb. 15, 2017.

"Tracy and my sister were best friends, so she took on that role when my sister left this world, 2015," Brunson-Daniels said.

And that is why she was known as "Bonus Mom," caring for Tyrese after his mother's death in 2015 following a brief illness.

Tyrese had lots of love and support.

The young man was a standout in basketball and football. His jersey with the South Philly Sigma Sharks was even retired.

"He was a sports guy. He really enjoyed the world of sports," Anderson said. "Yes, he was very, very, good at school. He was an honor roll student."

Tyrese's family said he had so much to look forward to.

The senior prom was only a few months away and he was picking out his outfit.

"And we want to make this happen," Anderson said. "I had already started reaching out to different people that I knew. He wanted these Louis Vuitton shoes, and he wanted this Louis Vuitton shirt."

Tyrese was riding high on some really good news. Just two months before his fatal shooting, he learned he had been accepted to the Indiana University of Pennsylvania on a full ride. He chose IUP over Penn State.

That day in 2015, Tyrese was home early from high school, getting ready to head to the community college when Brunson-Daniels says she heard a loud bang.

She and her mother rushed to the door of their home along Bancroft Street in Point Breeze.

"She couldn't get the door open. I opened the door and he fell in," Brunson-Daniels said.

"My mom tried to pick him up. She's like, "he's gone, I said, 'How do you know he's gone?'" Brunson-Daniels said. "Because it's dead weight."

Word of the shooting spread quickly.

"The whole Prep Charter was there was at Presbyterian," Anderson said. 

"They had to shut the ER down," Brunson-Daniels said.

The quiet, respected and laid-back 17-year-old, was dead on arrival.

"I would have never in my life thought that my nephew had gotten shot," Brunson-Daniels said. "He didn't deserve that. He wasn't into the streets. Tyrese was into his sports. He had a girlfriend and they'd be at my house all the time."

But in the blink of an eye, a bright future without bounds was gone.

"Didn't make it to prom. Didn't make it to graduation, didn't get a graduation picture," Anderson said. "We thought he was safe."

Police have had very little information.

The family says it's their understanding nearby cameras weren't much help. They want answers and pressure.

"What is high profile? For us, our loved ones are high profile," Anderson said. "Every murder should be treated equally."

If you have information call Philadelphia police at 215-686-TIPS.

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