‘Why was Jeff killed?’ Hamilton police search for motive in murder of Hamilton father

Detectives have released video of a vehicle they say was conducting surveillance on a Hamilton father in the days and months before he was murdered.

Jeffrey Johnson was shot outside his family’s home on Richwill Rd. on Dec. 6, 2019.

Johnson’s wife, Christine, and a neighbour discovered the 39-year-old man lying on the road and suffering from gunshot wounds around 6:30 a.m. He died shortly after being transported to hospital.

Hamilton police held a news conference Thursday morning and provided an update on their investigation.

Det. Sgt. Steve Bereziuk described Johnson as a husband and loving father to his children. He was not known to police and had no criminal record. Bereziuk said they are still trying to figure out why he was targeted.

“There is no evidence to support theories that he was involved in a criminal subculture such as drugs, weapons or traditional organized crime,” said Bereziuk. “There is also no evidence of any recent extramarital affairs or any financial gain by his death.”

Bereziuk said while they have not determined a motive, detectives have obtained video footage of a vehicle they believe was conducting surveillance on Johnson prior to his murder.

In one of the videos, Johnson’s car can be seen pulling up to a stop sign with his turn signal on. His vehicle makes a right-handed turn and roughly 10 seconds later, the suspect vehicle pulls up to the intersection, briefly stops and then follows his car.

It was also seen arriving and leaving the crime scene on the day of the shooting and was captured on a neighbour’s surveillance camera. The footage shows the vehicle drive by the neighbour’s home and then stops down the street for about eight seconds. It then slowly reverses back and out of the camera’s frame. The time stamp on the video states it was taken at 5:47 a.m., less than an hour before Johnson was fatally shot.

Johnson’s wife, Christine, also spoke at the news conference and made a tearful plea to anyone who may have information about her husband’s death.

“He was a hard-working, loving husband and true family man,” she said. “Jeff would every day say goodbye to me and give me a kiss and hug before he left for work. It was the same thing he did the day that he was killed. There’s a huge hole in all of our lives now. And we are having an extremely hard time moving forward.”

Bereziuk said Johnson was a “very routine” person and would leave his home daily around 6 a.m. to head to work.

He was employed at a local stamped concrete business and was walking to his car the morning he was fatally shot.

Police have yet to determine how many people were inside the shooter’s vehicle. Investigators are hoping the photographs and video of the car will help someone remember something that could help with the investigation.

The suspect vehicle is described as being a four-door, dark grey 2016 or 2017 Honda Accord, with silver handles, sport rims, and dual exhaust.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. David Brewster at 905-546-4067.

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