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Chattanooga police investigators work the crime scene where Jumoke Johnson, 23, and Christopher Woodard, 20, were killed on the 2100 block of E. 12th Street.

A well-known gang leader who was killed on Jan. 20 was apparently shot by someone in the back seat of the car in which he was riding, records show.

Jumoke Johnson, 23, was shot three times in the back of the head and once in the top of his head, according to a preliminary report from the Hamilton County Medical Examiner's office.

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Christopher Woodard, 20, was shot and killed on E. 12th Street on Jan. 20, 2017.
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Jumoke Johnson Jr. sits in class at Brainerd High School in 2012. Johnson started college but was arrested on drug charges.

The car's driver, Christopher Woodard, was hit eight times.

Woodard, 20, was struck twice in the back of the head, twice in the side of the head, three times in his back and neck, and once in the hand, records show.

Witnesses initially reported that one car was chasing another down E. 12th Street — bullets flying between them — when the first car crashed on top of a parked car around 8 p.m. on Jan. 20. However, that account appears to be wrong.

The car Woodard and Johnson were in did not have any external bullet holes, sources said.

Rather, the person in the back seat apparently killed Woodard and Johnson while the car was in motion, causing the car to crash on top of the parked car.

Chattanooga police spokeswoman Elisa Myzal declined to comment on the case Monday because of the ongoing investigation.

Woodard and Johnson were the first two people to be killed in Chattanooga during 2017, after the city saw 33 homicides in 2016.

Johnson was a figure in Chattanooga's streets — witnesses and victims often said he was the man pulling the trigger, although police could never prove it. A charismatic leader and smart kid, Johnson became the first in his family to graduate from high school in 2012 and was given a full scholarship to attend college in Alabama.

He was kicked out of college during his first semester, however, and returned to Chattanooga. In 2015, Johnson was sentenced to more than five years in federal prison on a drug charge. He walked away from a federal halfway house on McCallie Avenue a few days before he was killed.

Woodard also had a criminal history in Hamilton County — he pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a firearm, vandalism and assault in 2014 and 2015.

But Woodard's family remembers him as a friendly, outgoing young man who always kept people laughing. He graduated from high school in 2014 and did not go to college, said Renee Bowman, his great-aunt.

When she thinks about Woodard, she can't help but think about a day years ago, when an 8-year-old Woodard tried to recreate the final scene of the 1987 movie "Dirty Dancing."

His sister ran at him and leapt into his arms, and he tried to lift her above his head, just like Patrick Swayze lifted Jennifer Grey. But he wasn't quite strong enough, and they toppled in a heap.

"And then they just kept doing the dance scene and it was hilarious," Bowman said. "I was just dying laughing. Tears were rolling down my cheeks."

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or sbradbury@timesfreepress.com with tips or story ideas. Follow her on Twitter @Shelly Bradbury.

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