DESOTO (CBS 11 NEWS) – A 12-year-old DeSoto boy died Thursday morning after almost a week on life support. DeSoto Police say Donte “DJ” Johnson was hit by a car during a violent fight outside the Brookhollow Apartment Complex Friday.
17-year old Dominique Hemphill was driving that car. Police arrested him and charged him with injury to a child and failure to stop and render aid. Investigators say those charges will likely be upgraded in light of Johnson’s death.
The fight was caught on video. In it, Hemphill can be seen jumping into his car. Police say as he sped away he ran over Johnson, who was standing in the crowd.
“I just think it’s foolish – it doesn’t make any sense,” neighbor Audmi Harris said.
Paramedics rushed Johnson to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas with critical head injuries. He remained on life support until this morning, when he passed away.
“He was a nice kid, he was very respectable,” said neighbor Holly Alexander. “He never got into any trouble. When you saw him, he always had a smile on his face.”
Neighbors say this tragedy has affected everyone in their community.
“No kids are outside playing,” Alexander said. “The parents I’ve spoken to are nervous to let their kids come outside.”
Hemphill was arrested shortly after the incident.
“The police department is working closely with the DA’s office,” said DeSoto Police Sgt. Teddy May. “We’re also examining the video we have piece by piece, we’re working on eyewitness accounts of what happened. If it’s appropriate, the charges will be upgraded.”
Johnson was a sixth grader at DeSoto West Middle School. He would’ve celebrated his 13th birthday Sunday. Letters explaining his tragedy were sent home with students and extra grief counselors were brought on campus.
“Sometimes bad things happen to good people,” Alexander said.
Neighbors are trying to organize a block party on Sunday to honor Johnson’s memory.