Former Titans, Jets and Cardinals running back Chris Johnson has been accused of funding a murder-for-hire operation that resulted in the killing of two men. The link between Johnson and the two victims is a strong one: they were believed to be directly involved in a 2015 incident that left Johnson wounded and his friend dead.
According to TMZ Sports, there have been no formal charges made, and Johnson "adamantly denies the allegations." However, a stretch of violent gang activity dating back to the 2015 incident seems to implicate that Johnson played multiple roles in the story. On March 8, 2015, Johnson and his friend, Dreekius Johnson, were gunned down while driving in a Jeep late at night.
Though Chris Johnson survived, coming away with a bullet wound as a scarring reminder, Dreekius Johnson was not so fortunate. TMZ Sports reports that law officials believe that the shooting was a gang-related attempt on the NFL star based on intelligence gathered and shared in new court documents.
Furthermore, perhaps seeking an act of retribution, Chris Johnson has been accused of paying and supporting the rise of alleged gang member Dominic Bolden in a murder-for-hire scheme where both shooters in the 2015 incident wound up dead the following year.
An informant told court officials that the former running back supplied Bolden "with funds and an individual who could continually supply Dominic Bolden with as much narcotics as needed to supply the [drug trafficking organization]," and Bolden apparently was elevated to a higher rank and level of power within that same DTO.
Additionally, Johnson is accused of helping with various day-to-day operations in the new court documents, but he still has not been formally charged. Chris's representative claims that "there's no validity to any of these accusations."
Chris Johnson stayed out of major legal trouble for the most part throughout his playing and post-playing career, save for incidents including a second-degree misdemeanor charge in 2015 for the open carrying of a firearm, and another misdemeanor in 2018 when he was charged with battery for attacking a valet attendant.
The bulk of Johnson's NFL career was played in Tennessee, where he acquired the nickname "CJ2K" after an explosive and historic 2009 season. Johnson earned three Pro Bowl nominations in his first three seasons and eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark from 2008-2013. His career dropped off significantly after signing with the Jets in 2014.
The 2015 shooting obviously impacted his life and career, but he was able to make a full recovery and got an opportunity to play for the Cardinals the following season. According to an interview with Johnson on azcentral sports, a branch of USA Today, Johnson thought that bending down to answer a text at the precise moment of the shooting was the reason he's still alive today. He was also thankful that the Cardinals gave him a shot when other teams found the incident to be too much of a deterrent.