Wichita mother says she can now grieve daughter’s Old Town killing after arrest

Courtesy/La’Tionna Johnson's family

The 19-year-old Wichita woman wanted in the fatal shooting of a young mother last month in Old Town turned herself in to police at the north bureau on Tuesday, Wichita police said.

La’Niha Shamar Banks faces charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, two counts of criminal discharge into an occupied vehicle and four counts of aggravated assault in connection with the May 20 killing of 19-year-old La’Tionna Johnson.

Johnson’s mother, Naceea Johnson, said she can finally start to grieve. She said she slept better Tuesday night after learning about Banks’ arrest than she had in weeks.

“But just to know that she is moving around town like she is free, you can’t rest,” she said, adding that the arrest “allows me to rest and I know that my daughter can rest.”

The family had a fundraiser Tuesday night to help cover the cost of Monday’s funeral. With Banks arrested, Johnson said, it hit her harder when she got home that her daughter is gone.

“My smile is not as full as it used to be,” she said. “My heart is broken. Just trying to figure out the most positive thing I could do to fill that void.”

La’Tionna Johnson broke up a fight between Banks and a childhood friend before getting ready to leave in a vehicle with her two younger sisters and two friends. Police say that’s when Banks fired multiple rounds into the vehicle.

Johnson was hit in the neck and shoulder.

Police were called to the shooting around 11:10 p.m. at First and Washington.

La’Tionna Johnson, who had a 6-month-old daughter when she was shot and planned to go to aesthetician school in the fall, died five days later, surrounded by family and friends.

Johnson had been working as a certified nursing assistant. She helped with bills around the house and provide for her younger siblings, Naceea Johnson said.

Banks was booked into Sedgwick County Jail Tuesday evening with a bond set at $500,000.

A GoFundMe to help with funeral costs is available at rb.gy/8x9ly.