The Violent Life of Man Accused of Killing Prison Guard

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The son of two Chicago police officers, Edward Muhammad Johnson was 12 when he witnessed his father shoot his mother six times before turning the gun on himself. Decades later, he is suspected of attacking and killing Minnesota corrections officer Joseph Gomm. At 42 years of age, he was already imprisoned in the 2002 murder of his girlfriend, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press. In 2005, Pioneer Press columnist Ruben Rosario wrote about Johnson and his 8-year old sister, Zakiyyah, witnessing the horrific execution of their mother, a granddaughter of the late Black Muslim leader Elijah Muhammad. Zakiyyah Johnson said then she was convinced that the childhood tragedy had a profound effect on her brother.

Fourteen years after his parents’ murder-suicide, Edward Muhammad Johnson stabbed Brooke Elizabeth Thompson to death in his apartment, where she was staying. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and had been serving a 29-year term at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater. While in jail after Thompson’s death, Johnson punched a detention deputy in the eye, and was sentenced to 13 months in prison in that case. Johnson had been scheduled to be released on Dec. 12, 2022. Johnson’s disciplinary record in prison is “significant,” Minnesota Corrections Commissioner Tom Roy said. Johnson spent about 1,700 days in segregation, including a 540-day stint after a fight, but he has not been in segregation since 2016. “He has had numerous discipline items,” Roy said. “He has not been an exemplary inmate, but he has recently come around.”

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