GARY — A Hammond man was charged Tuesday in connection with the Nov. 2 shooting that left a 16-year-old Hammond boy dead and a 20-year-old East Chicago man wounded.

Augustus J. Johnson III, 20, of Hammond, was charged Tuesday with murder in perpetration of attempted robbery, attempted murder and attempted armed robbery, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Lake Criminal Court. 

He is accused of shooting Diego Serna, 16, a junior at the Hammond Academy of Science and Technology, and an East Chicago man in the 400 block of South Huntington Street in Gary's Miller section.

The East Chicago man told police he drove to Marquette Apartments with Serna on Nov. 2 to sell two ounces of weed to Johnson, whom he knew as "Gus" and as a co-worker at Walmart, according to court records.

Text messages show the 20-year-old East Chicago man and Johnson began texting that day at about 10:10 a.m. to arrange a meeting. 

They exchanged text messages up until 6:13 p.m., when the East Chicago man told Johnson he had arrived at the complex. Four phone calls were exchanged between 6:16 and 6:22 p.m., and police received a report of shots fired in the area at about 6:24 p.m., court records show. 

After Serna and the 20-year-old man arrived, the 20-year-old said he called Johnson, who instructed him to walk to his vehicle.

As the 20-year-old began walking toward the vehicle, he suddenly felt someone come up behind him, put a gun to the back of his head and say "Give me that (expletive) or I am going to take it," court records show. 

He said he turned around to see a person with a thin build, wearing a hoodie and a mask.

The suspect, later identified as Johnson, fired "four or five" shots at him, according to the affidavit. The shooter then jumped into a dark vehicle, and fired another four of five shots, court records show.

"(The victim) said that after the shooter drove off, he started calling out for Diego because he never heard his car door open, never heard Diego run, did not hear any extra shots, and thought Diego was in the car," according to the probable cause affidavit. 

Serna's body was later discovered by police lying face down bleeding out of his chest between a red Pontiac and gray Cadillac in the east parking lot. 

Detectives recovered eight spent .40 caliber casings, three spent 9mm casings and three spent bullets from the scene. The 20-year-old shooting victim from East Chicago was reportedly shot nine times and cooperated with police.

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Public safety reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.

Public safety reporter

Lauren covers breaking news, crime and courts for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet covering government, public policy, and the region’s heroin epidemic. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.