Vigil For Former FAMU Diamond Dancer Who Was Murdered

By: Angelica Alvarez Email
By: Angelica Alvarez Email

Tallahassee, FL - Just below the Eternal Flame at FAMU's campus sits a portrait. That portrait of 22-year-old Amber Johnson was surrounded by other photos, candles and flowers.

Johnson was shot last Tuesday in a home near Pensacola. Deputies say her boyfriend, 27-year-old Justin Stanley was also shot, but will survive.

"We're here to celebrate Amber Johnson's life, she was a Diamond sister of ours and we love her dearly," said Teri Watson, a FAMU student who knew Johnson well and danced with her on the Diamond Dance team.

To honor Johnson's memory, members of the dance team gathered around the Eternal Flame for a vigil.

"My favorite memory would be just dancing with her, she always kept us happy, and we would laugh," said Ashley Williams, another former teammate and friend of Johnson's.

"I find myself staring at my friends a long time now because I'm just happy to be able to wake up and look at them," said Casilya Smith, another member of the Diamond Dancers and friend of Johnson's.

Right now no one has been arrested for the shooting. Until then Johnson's friends on the dance team say they will continue to wipe their tears, hold each other in comfort and stick together until justice is served.


Tallahassee, FL - At 6:00 this evening, students will gather on FAMU's campus to remember a former student found shot to death near her hometown.

That student was 22-year-old Amber Johnson, who was also part of the Diamond Dancers, and it's the Diamond Dancers tonight who are planning that vigil at the eternal flame.

Escambia County investigators say they found her dead with a gunshot wound inside of a home in a town just north of Pensacola, FL.

It was early Tuesday morning, when she was found inside of a home neighbors say she was renting with 27 year old Justin Stanley.

He was also shot, but we're told he will be okay.

Right now, investigators believe drugs may have been a motive for the shooting, because they found what they describe as a large quantity of drugs inside the home.

Investigators will not say exactly what those drugs were, but say the amount is consistent with trafficking.

When i spoke to some of the Diamond Dancers last week, they told me they could not imagine that Johnson would be involved in anything drug related.

At last check, investigators say no one has been arrested.


Tallahassee - A 22-year-old former member of a FAMU dance team was murdered and authorities believe drugs may have been a motive. The former Diamond Dancer was killed in her home town of Pensacola, Florida, but her death is being felt on FAMU's campus.

Shana Bullard is senior at FAMU and a Diamond Dancer.

"She was a really nice person, very sweet all the time," said Bullard. Nice and sweet is how Bullard describes former fellow Diamond Dancer, Amber Johnson. Bullard says Johnson had just recently left the team and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University to head home to Pensacola. But her hometown turned into the last place she would ever go. Early Tuesday morning deputies found Johnson shot to death inside of her home. This news quickly spread from Pensacola to FAMU's campus in Tallahassee.

"It was a surprise to hear that happened to her," said Bullard.

"It's sad to hear about someone dying in general and then to know she traveled through the same halls we did is even more heart-wrenching because we stick together like a family, once a Rattler always a Rattler," said Leon Evans, a student at FAMU.

Neighbors in Pensacola say Johnson and 27-year-old Justin Stanley were renting the home where they were found. Stanley was also shot but we're told he will recover. Right now investigators in Escambia County believe drugs may have been a motive. They found what they will only describe as a large quantity of drugs in the home. For now, no suspects have been named and those who knew the Diamond Dancer best are doing their best to cope with the loss.

"My whole team is taking it pretty hard but we're going to stick together," said Bullard.

Other members of the dance team say they don't believe Johnson would have been directly involved in anything drug-related.


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