Rochester, N.Y.—Wanda Johnson said that in two instances, Cordero Gibson did what was right; the problem was the one choice he made that was wrong. Gibson is one of two men convicted in the December 2011 shooting death her son, Niagara University student Brandon Johnson.
At his sentencing Thursday, Gibson, the alleged driver, delivered a tearful apology to the Johnson family.
“I was just lost for words, lost for everything," said Wanda Johnson.
On December 8, 2011, Johnson was at a friend’s home in the Buffalo area. He was shot and killed that night in what authorities say was an attempted robbery. Gibson and Gordon Jackson, 18, the alleged shooter, were later arrested.
“They say it was an accident, but to me, the thing was no accident,” said Wanda Johnson. “You come into some place with a loaded shotgun, that is no accident.”
Gibson’s mother also addressed the Johnson family at Thursday’s sentencing.
“His mother came in saying that the system got her son,” explained Johnson. “The grave got mine. You can see yours, I can’t see mine. I’ll never see him. All I can do is visit the grave site.”
Gibson’s sentence was not long enough for his involvement, in the eyes of the Johnsons.
"The 15 years, plus five years probation, for me that wasn't enough,” said Johnson. “Let this be a lesson to him.”
It’s a lesson she says should be heard by other young men who consider such violent actions against others.
“You gotta [Sic] think young boys, you gotta think today before you do something stupid that will affect your life, for the rest of your life,” said Johnson.