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Police were working with stabbing suspect; Victims identified

Published On: May 04 2014 11:05:52 PM CDT   Updated On: May 05 2014 09:51:31 AM CDT

A family who say their relative was the Madison murder suspect killed by police Friday tells News3 they’re frustrated with police. Londrell Johnson’s mother is adamant officers killed her son Friday after police allege Johnson stabbed two people to death in an East Washington Avenue apartment. Dannika Lewis reports.


Madison police said they were working with a man suspected in a double-homicide before Friday's stabbings and shooting.

The family of Londrell Johnson, 33, told News 3 their relative was the man killed by police Friday and they’re frustrated with police and a lack of communication with officers.

Police said Johnson stabbed a mother and daughter to death in an East Washington Avenue apartment during an apparent dispute between neighbors.

Police spokesman Joel Despain said they had been working with Johnson long before this incident and the captain of the mental health liaison program had worked personally with Johnson.

"They were doing everything they could to help him," Despain said.

Madison police said they have been in contact with the suspect's family since shortly after the homicides and asked Dane County Victim Witness Unit to work with the family. Despain said Chief Mike Koval met personally with the families.

On Sunday, Willie Mae Johnson said detectives have yet to contact her about Johnson’s death and won’t let her see his body.

The victims are identified as Charity Rae Grossmann, 34, and Robin Rae Grossmann, 57, both of Madison. The medical examiner said Charity Grossmann died at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Robin Grossmann was pronounced dead at the scene. Both died from injuries suffered in the stabbing.

The medical examiner confirmed Johnson died from a gunfire injury.

“We’re not going to speculate or anything,” said Johnson’s brother, Shurone Johnson. “We don’t know anything. But at the same time, people with mental health issues need to be approached in a certain way. He had issues, no doubt about it he had issues. So, we need to find out what’s going on. We still haven’t spoken to anyone.”

Johnson’s family says he suffered from mental illness, had voluntarily sought treatment last winter, and was on medication.

Police said Johnson lived in the apartment on the 2600 block of East Washington and had made previous threats to his neighbors.

Johnson’s family called News 3, upset they haven’t heard from him since before the shooting and saw other media reports name Johnson as the man police shot and killed. 

“He’d get angry, but he wasn’t going to pick at you, he wasn’t going to mess with you,” said Johnson’s mother, Willie Mae Johnson. “In order for Londrell to come at you in the wrong way you had to come to him and you had to keep picking at him. And he was going through problems in that building.”

His family said Johnson wasn’t a violent person and rather feared police from past encounters. They stressed they feel for everyone who died after Friday’s incident.

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