Homeless man dies following heavy object blow to the head

Monday, September 26, 2011 at 7:34pm
Staff reports
Robert Johnson 

The man brutally attacked at a homeless camp under the Jefferson Street Bridge Wednesday, Sept. 21, afternoon has died, apparently after a brutal attack.

Robert S. Johnson, 46, was struck in the head with a large heavy object, perhaps a rock, as he lay prone, according to the Metro Police Department. Johnson died Sunday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

A homeless couple found Johnson bleeding badly from his head at 4:30 p.m. last Wednesday. They walked to a state office building and requested that an ambulance be called. 

Central Precinct detectives have been interviewing homeless individuals and service providers as they work to identify the person responsible for Johnson’s murder.  Anyone with information about the attack, including persons known to associate with Johnson, is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 74-CRIME and become eligible for a cash reward.

Citizens can also send an electronic tip to Crime Stoppers by texting the word “CASH” along with their message to 274637 (CRIMES) or online at www.nashvillecrimestoppers.com.

4 Comments on this post:

By: Loner on 9/27/11 at 5:29

The guy was white, that probably rules out a racial motive, or does it? Robbery seems unplausible. Love triangle? Probably not. Was it simply hatred of the poor and homeless?
There certainly is a growing generalized loathing of the poor. TP-GOP rhetoric and the right-wing media stars constantly demonize the homeless and the poverty stricken...maybe some person, or persons, hopped up on right-wing hate, were motivated to commit this heinous crime.

By: BigPapa on 9/27/11 at 6:46

Loner I think you've shown us all about "hate" in that post.

By: WendyJohsnon on 9/27/11 at 9:04

What I can tell you is that this man was my husband and the father of our 3 boys. There seems to be a lot of confusion about his living arrangements. It seems to me that because his beaten body was found in the homeless camp it was assumed that he too was homeless. While he did not have a permanent address he was not living under the bridge, we spoke with him on Tuesday afternoon about 24 hours before he was found. He was staying with a friend at that time and had been for several weeks. We do believe that Robert knew his attacker and also believe that he was expecting it. The phone calls that he had made the day prior were out of character for him and he spoke alot to our children about a past assault.
Our family has been devastated by Roberts death and we are begging that if anyone has any information at all about this attack that they contact police or can call me directly. I am also reaching out to the friend that he was staying with............please contact me I know that he did not have alot of personal items and nothing of value but we would like to recover his clothes, letters, pictures etc.

This was a violent attack, there was nothing random about it. He was beaten and burned and left for dead. His bike, wallet, cell phone and backpack were taken during the attack. Please call me if you know anything 717-341-8329

By: yucchhii on 9/28/11 at 8:50

yucchhii Not to say that this man was homeless, as Wendy had pointed out, BUT I have to say this. I was born and raised in a northern state. I lived in Calfornia two different times. I then lived in PA for a short time, spent 12 years in Virginia and now here in Nashville. Don't get me wrong, I love Nashville, but I SWEAR I have NEVER seen sooooo many "STUPID" people and people who "DON'T GIVE A DAM ABOUT ANYTHING GATHERED IN ONE PLACE AT THE SAME TIME!!" This is not only meaning homeless, but people who are NOT homeless as well. For those who hate homeless JUST BECAUSE, let me tell you something..."LOOK AT YOURSELVES! LOOK AT WHAT YOUR DOING AND WHAT YOUR CAUSING!! CAN'T THIS COUNTRY JUST GET THROUGH ALL THE IDIOCY WITHOUT YOU MAKING THINGS WORSE? All your doing is making yourself to be a TOTAL 100% PURE USDA PRIME CHOICE "IDIOT!!" Don't like MY attitude?......TOO BAD!!!!!