FORNEY, Texas — UPDATE [Nov. 5] — A third arrest has been made on murder charges in connection with the shooting death of a Forney man in September.
19-year-old Zacchaeus Ja'Juan Henderson was arrested and booked into the Kaufman County Jail. Henderson was charged with murder and is being held on a $1.5 million bond.
ORIGINAL [Nov. 3] — Two people were arrested over the weekend in connection with the September 8 murder of a Forney man in front of North Forney High School.
Isaiah Johnson, 19 of Dallas and Denaja Rena Mims, 19 of Mesquite are both being held at the Kaufman County jail charged with the murder of 22-year-old of Desmond Smith of Forney.
According to arrest warrant affidavits obtained by inForney.com this week, Smith was shot at approximately 2:05 a.m. the morning of September 8 on Falcon Way near North Forney High School.
More than an hour later, someone passing by called 911 to report a male individual who appeared to have been hit by a car and was bleeding in the street.
When law enforcement arrived to provide aid, they observed multiple gunshot wounds on the victim along with spent casings on the ground according to the affidavit. Medical personnel reported Smith had no signs of life upon arrival.
Video surveillance footage obtained from North Forney High School depicts a vehicle circle the parking lot then exit onto Falcon Way and passing the Smith who was on the sidewalk before stopping the affidavit says.
“After the vehicle stopped, you can see the front passenger door open, then the rear passenger side door open and two individuals exit and what appears to be muzzle flashes are seen on camera. While the two on the passenger side are out of the car, you can see a third figure on the driver’s side come to the rear of the vehicle and more muzzle flashes are seen from that figure. Based on that view of the video, it is believed there were three people that exited the vehicle and fired weapons at the victim,” the affidavit says.
According to police, after following evidence that led them to Mims, the female confessed that she was possibly the last person to speak to Smith alive.
“Denaja informed investigators that on September 8, 2021 around 1 a.m., Isaiah (Johnson) had called and told her to answer her phone for a boy; Denaja advised that she did answer her phone and talked to Desmond and told him to go to the school to meet her,” the affidavit says.
Mims then showed investigators text messages from Johnson where he had told her she may need to “go ghost” and “just play stupid you been sleep all night” according to the affidavit. These messages were sent to her at 3:44 a.m. according to police.
Later, when investigators questioned Johnson during an interview held at the Dallas Police Department, he never denied being involved in the murder, but asked why he was being questioned in the murder according to investigators.
Johnson told investigators he had never been to Kaufman County before and didn’t know where Forney was.
According to the affidavits, after Johnson’s phone records were subpoenaed, analyzed, and plotted they confirmed that Johnson was in Kaufman County the night of the murder. More specifically, police say, the location where Johnson was verified was the cell tower that services North Forney High School and shows Johnson to be in the immediate area at both 1:42 a.m. and again at 1:48 a.m.
Based on the video evidence, the murder took place at about 2:05 a.m.
Authorities say the investigation will remain ongoing.
“I would like to thank the Kaufman County Sheriff’s department for the ongoing and continuous investigation in this horrific shooting,” Kaufman County District Erleigh Wiley tells inForney.com
“The Kaufman County District Attorney’s Office looks forward to justice being served in this case,” Wiley said.
Both Mims and Johnson were apprehended without incident, and each being held on $1 million bonds. No court appearances have been set as of press time.
This is a developing story.