On Sunday, August 21, Eric Johnson, 41, shot his six-year-old daughter, Iyla Johnson, before taking his own life. The murder-suicide happened at an apartment on Lakenoll Drive in Mount Healthy, Ohio.
The situation began when two officers tried to resolve a custody issue by getting Eric Johnson to return Iyla back to her mother. Iyla was supposed to be picked up by police officers. However, when officers arrived, they found Eric had barricaded himself in a room and then began shooting at them.
Mount Healthy Police Chief Vince Demasi stated that the preliminary investigation suggests murder-suicide was the cause of death. Demasi said, “As officers entered the apartment a gunshot was heard from a second-floor bedroom area. Officers immediately responded to, and attempted to gain entry into, the bedroom but were unable due to the door being barricaded from within. As officers attempted to force entry additional shots rang out. The officers called for a Hamilton County Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) response while securing the perimeter of the residence.”
In an official statement released by Mount Health Police on Facebook, the officers stated that upon the arrival of SWAT, the team attempted several times to communicate with Eric. However, after repeated failures, officers forced their way into the residence, where they found two people dead. The long standoff ended around 3.30 pm on Sunday, August 21.
Demasi also stated, “Very heartbreaking situation. I’m thankful that my officers weren’t injured, but we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and this poor little girl who suffered needlessly, in my opinion.” The preliminary investigation indicated that Johnson shot his daughter before turning the gun on himself. The Hamilton County Coroner’s Office will review the evidence for the final determination of the murder-suicide. Demasi added, “Mr. Johnson has a long felony criminal record and is obviously an individual that – number one, shouldn’t be out and about on our streets. And number two – definitely should not be in possession of a firearm, but, unfortunately, he was.”
A neighbor of Eric stated, “The family, all the family was here. They couldn’t, they couldn’t get passed up where I live. They couldn’t get passed there. Everything was roped off,” Andrew Dawson said. “You had witnesses all over, SWAT, you had people here that was upset.” Dawson said he thought the police did a “really good job” during the incident by trying to resolve the ordeal without anyone getting hurt.
Iyla’s grandfather Michael Ryan has started a GoFundMe page to meet the funeral expenses of the child. The campaign note stated, “IYLA Johnson’s life ended on 8/21/22. She was six years old and was murdered by her father, who then took his own life. Raising funds to help her mother with burial expenses for my precious granddaughter who is no longer with us.”