MILWAUKEE -- A family is one step closer to justice, as charges are filed in the shooting death of a 15-year-old Milwaukee girl.
Melanie Johnson was sitting in her kitchen last week when she was shot.
Alex Dixon, 18, and Martaouse Holloway, 19, are both charged with Reckless Homicide. Dixon is in jail. Holloway is not yet in custody.
After learning more details of what Dixon and Holloway did - and why - Melanie's family has a message for them.
"You are cowards for doing this to my niece," says Sheila Kitchens. "She was innocent. That's a beautiful life we can never get back."
The kitchen where Melanie Johnson died is riddled with bullets. The 15-year-old was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, while inside her own home at 35th and Silver Spring.
According to the criminal complaint, Melanie's older brother was the intended target, but she was the one hit. Her little sister tried to talk to Melanie as she lay on the floor bleeding.
"It hurt me because she died right in front of me," says T'wana Townsend. "I didn't want to see my sister like that."
"Her little brother and sister, they looked up to her," says Melanie's best friend, Akyra Harris. "She was a big part of their lives. They took something really special from all of us."
"We don't know how we're going to heal," Kitchens adds. "We don't even know where to begin."
Investigators say Dixon was mad that Melanie's older brother "had a physical relationship with the mother of Dixon's child." Dixon and Holloway were walking by the family's home last Monday night.
They heard Melanie's brother in the kitchen, so they started shooting, then took off running. Melanie died in the kitchen just minutes later.
"To have her taken so tragically is so wrong and senseless," Kitchens says. "Those men knew there were people in that house. They intentionally set out to cause harm, and for that, they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."
Melanie's funeral is this Friday. Her family found out from the Medical Examiner, that she was 9 weeks pregnant when she was killed.
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