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Shannon Johnson murder trial begins

Attorneys kicked off a two-week murder trial Tuesday by describing two completely different scenarios stemming from the same New Year’s Eve shooting in a north Spokane convenience store that left one man dead and another fighting for his life.

Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Tom Treppiedi told the jury that Shannon L. Johnson, 34, planned the shooting before he arrived at the Neighborhood Grocery, 3404 E. Euclid Ave., gunned down David “Derek” C. Lougin, 25, and shot 29-year-old Jason E. Brown twice in the back.

The shooting followed an earlier altercation, and Johnson followed Brown and Lougin – someone Johnson knew since childhood and referred to as “cousin” – to the store, Treppiedi said.

“Shannon Johnson had a plan. He didn’t go there to make amends with his cousin,” Treppiedi said. “He acted in cold blood and without remorse, all the while his victims were trying to retreat.”

Treppiedi then played for the jury two angles of security cameras, which show Johnson arriving and confronting Lougin before they walk outside. Within seconds, Johnson begins shooting Lougin, hitting him eight times. The last shot was fired from directly above Lougin’s limp body, Treppiedi said.

Johnson is then shown firing shots into the store, but Brown cannot be seen in the video. Two clerks were also in the store but were not hit.

Defense attorney Jeffrey Compton told the jury that he will show, using the same footage, that Johnson was simply defending himself from Lougin, whom he described as a drug dealer, and Brown, who Compton said was Lougin’s armed helper.

Compton told the jury that Johnson once lived with Lougin and his family in Inglewood, Calif. They both moved to Spokane at different times but continued to rely on each other.

He said the trouble between the two started when Lougin got into legal trouble in Idaho and then asked Johnson to hold onto a .40-caliber pistol. Johnson then got permission to use the gun as collateral for a loan to fix his truck.

Then a few days before the shooting, Lougin began to make aggressive attempts to have Johnson return the gun, according to Compton. Lougin and Brown then showed up on Dec. 31 and again confronted Johnson about the gun at the home of Johnson’s girlfriend’s family, Compton said.

Lougin “pulls a .380 pistol and puts it up to Shannon Johnson and says, ‘You know how I roll. I want my gun,’ ” Compton said. The three agreed to meet at the Neighborhood Grocery.

“Mr. Johnson is worried for his girlfriend, her family and himself,” Compton said.

Johnson arrived and said he was upset about how Lougin confronted him in front of his girlfriend’s family, his attorney said.

When Johnson saw Lougin’s right hand reach for a gun, “Fearing for his life, he pulled his gun and shot” Lougin, Compton said. “He shot at Jason Brown because he believed he was armed that night.”

When police turned over Lougin’s body, they found a .380-caliber pistol in his hand.

Johnson fled, crashing an SUV a few blocks away and then fleeing on foot. He was later found along the Spokane River.

“Shannon Johnson was totally traumatized by these events,” Compton said. “Shannon Johnson acted in self-defense.”