GARY | A key witness in a Portage homicide case was gunned down Thursday at her Gary business, police said.
Antoinetta Johnson, 34, of Hammond, died after suffering multiple gunshot wounds in a beauty salon, according to the Lake County coroner's office.
A man with a hood on his head walked into the Visions of Beauty Hair Salon, 1008 W. Fifth Ave., about 12:53 p.m and fired multiple shots at Johnson with a handgun.
Johnson was the owner of the salon and died before she could be transported to the hospital, Gary police Lt. Del Stout said.
Another person in the shop during the shooting was not harmed, Stout said.
The beauty shop is across the street from the Gary Police Department, but no police cameras monitor the strip mall's lot, Stout said.
Gary detectives believe it is possible Johnson was killed in connection to being a witness to a homicide that happened in Portage last month, he said.
Portage police allege Dontaye Singletary was hired by Sheaurice Major to kill 72-year-old Carl Griffith Sr. at his Portage home Nov. 1, and Johnson linked the two together, police said.
Police believe Singletary, 20, of Gary, was the person who shot at Griffith during a tow truck call in Gary on the day he was killed.
Johnson told police she heard gunshots near the corner of Hickory Street and Concord Avenue on Nov. 1 before Singletary got into her car.
She told police Major, 42, of Portage, had instructed her to wait on that corner.
Johnson also told investigators Major contacted her a week before the murder and asked if she knew of anyone who could do harm to Griffith and she put Major in contact with Singletary, according to police.
Major was listed with the Indiana secretary of state's office as co-owner of Affordable Towing of Gary, where Griffith worked.
Both Singletary and Major were charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with Griffith's death.
Anyone with information about Johnson's death is asked to call Gary police Sgt. Larry Robertson at (219) 881-7545.