Murder charges filed in woman’s death on Lake Shore Drive

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CHICAGO -- The state's attorney's office filed murder and attempted robbery charges against 18-year-old Semaj Waters, saying he pulled a gun on 32-year-old Pamela Johnson and her boyfriend while trying to rob them early Sunday morning.

Today family of Pamela Johnson spent the afternoon at a cemetery making burial arrangements as they learned of charges filed in her death case.

“We don’t know, it's innocent until proven guilty, we just want what's right to be done. Because we weren't there and we don't know,” said the victim’s aunt, Salena Johnson.

Investigators say Waters pulled a gun on Pamela Johnson and her boyfriend while trying to rob them early Sunday morning in the Gold Coast, along with a group of six other young men who police say chased the couple.

“We know our child is not capable of murder or sticking anyone up, he had no reason to, I work every day to make sure my child can have some of the things that he wants,” said Jerry Brown, Semaj Waters' father.

Johnson's boyfriend told police they tried to run across Lake Shore Drive near Ohio Street to escape, but both were hit by a pickup truck. 32-year-old Pamela Johnson did not survive.

“We only see what's on social media so we don't know. We just hope police know what they're doing,” said the victim’s mother, Angante Johnson.

Semaj Waters' family and another young man questioned in the case say they were running from the same gunman, and tried to stop and help Pamela Johnson.

Derek Norman, who was questioned by police, said “don't nobody know what we had to go through we sat right there with that lady helping.”

But Chicago police say surveillance video shows the group of teens fleeing west on Superior Street after the couple was hit, and then getting on the subway.

“If there was indeed another group they were running from I don't think CPD would withhold that evidence,” said community activist Andrew Holmes.

Family of the teen charged, and those questioned in the case, say they are innocent.

“Just because they were young black kids running then they are the ones to blame for the young lady's tragedy,” said Brown.

“You can't see what your child does when he's not in your sight. But he's still innocent until proven guilty. Until the courts prove him guilty your heart is heavy just like ours is,” sand the victim’s grandmother, Geraldine Johnson.