Man killed during Gwinnett road rage incident was beloved bar manager

Vigil will be held in his honor at the Stone Mountain tavern where he worked

A man who was shot and killed Monday during a road rage incident outside Will Henry’s Tavern in Gwinnett County was identified by co-workers as the bar and restaurant’s manager.

Jerome Johnson, 39, of Lawrenceville, was shot outside the Stone Mountain bar in what Gwinnett police said was an incident between him and a man on a bike. Johnson was taken to the hospital but later died from the gunshot wound.

The suspected shooter, 27-year-old Jonnathan Bladimir Hernandez of Lilburn, was located later Monday night after police said they received a suspicious person call matching his description. The location was swarmed by officers, a K-9 unit and a helicopter, and Hernandez was taken into custody without incident, police said.

Jonnathan Bladimir Hernandez is charged with murder in a road rage shooting outside a Gwinnett County tavern, police said.

Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department

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Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department

Johnson’s colleagues at Will Henry’s Tavern plan to mourn him with a candlelight vigil at 8 p.m. Wednesday outside the bar. The business has been a mainstay on Rockbridge Road for more than 30 years, according to its website, and serves as a gathering spot for live music, trivia, karaoke and sporting events.

“We at Will Henry’s are deeply saddened by the passing of Jerome. He was part of our family,” the tavern’s management said. “A person that meant a great deal to a lot of people. He was kind and always looked out for everyone. He will be missed more than words can say. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his parents and family.”

A co-worker of Johnson’s, Keri Kush, told Channel 2 Action News that Will Henry’s Tavern held their annual employee holiday party Sunday and Johnson had brought his parents. Just two days later, Johnson’s mother created a GoFundMe page to raise money to help cover his funeral expenses.

“I’m reaching out to family and friends to help support my son Jerome’s homecoming,” Laicindia Curtis wrote on the fundraising page. “This is such a tragedy for my family to lose my only son.”

“I mean, he was like a dad to us. He watched us. He kept us safe, and it’s so senseless for that to happen,” Kush told the news station.

“He was a great guy, and he did not deserve that, and we will miss him terribly,” Kush said.

Hernandez was booked into the Gwinnett jail early Tuesday morning on charges of felony murder and aggravated assault, online records show. He remains there without bond.