The men who shot a League City yacht dealer to death in his garage Thursday night had tailed their target almost 40 miles from an upscale restaurant on Houston’s west side, police suspect.

Jeff Johnson’s death under his own roof in an apparent robbery attempt is similar to crimes some Houston news organizations report are on the rise in that city.

Johnson, 58, died at a hospital where he was rushed after the late-night shooting in the 1500 block of Waterside Drive, police said.

The shooting occurred in the Marina Village neighborhood, a gated community near South Shore Harbour, police said.

No arrests had been made Friday, and the League City Police Department was reviewing security video from the neighborhood and asking for the public’s help to identify Johnson’s killers.

Johnson was the owner of Texas Coast Yachts, a boat dealership with locations in Clear Lake Shores and League City. An employee who answered the phone at the business Friday confirmed the person killed and Johnson were the same.

Men in a white SUV had followed Johnson and his wife home from Houston after the couple had dined at the Capital Grille, a steakhouse on Westheimer Road in the Uptown neighborhood of Houston, police department spokesman John Griffith said.

The SUV had entered the gated community behind the couple’s motorcycle, he said.

Johnson had just parked the motorcycle in the garage and his wife already had entered the house when several men approached him, police said.

He might have struggled with the men before he was shot, police said.

Police, who received emergency calls just after 11 p.m. about a possible robbery at the address, found Johnson badly wounded in the garage, police said.

Police initially said Johnson had been shot multiple times but later said he might have been shot only once and also injured his head when he fell to the ground.

Johnson was taken to a local hospital where he underwent surgery. He was reported dead about 9:30 a.m. Friday, police said.

Witnesses told officers they saw people running from the scene.

Police didn’t disclose descriptions of the attackers and only a vague description of the SUV.

Houston-area TV news stations have reported a recent increase in similar crimes involving people being followed and preyed upon after leaving high-end stores and restaurants.

The killing at Johnson’s home was the first reported case of its kind in League City, at least in the past year, Griffith said.

“We have not had this in League City,” Griffith said.

Police asked anyone with information about the shooting to call investigators at 281-332-2566.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.


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(3) comments

Doug Sivyer

Despicable thugs. I hope they are caught convicted and sentenced to life behind bars.

Wayne D Holt

Someone who built a successful business in the community, in the prime of his life and harming no one, is hunted like an animal for 40 miles, then killed on his own property during the course of a robbery.

That's capital murder; the death penalty or life imprisonment. Years of appeals if they even catch them, while taxpayers provide food and shelter. No doubt accompanied by the familiar Greek chorus of family and friends intoning that they were really good boys deep down.

A much more welcome outcome to this tragedy would have been double taps to center mass for the filth who did this.

Robert Braeking

This tactic will not be as successful beginning September 1.

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