50-year-old tried to protect daughter during central Fresno shooting, family says

Glynna Fenske says her daughter Michelle Johnson loved with every ounce of her being. Family says Michelle gave her life to protect 21-year-old Charlotte Ethridge.

Video Transcript

BRITTANY JACOB: Man accused of killing two women in Central Fresno this weekend is now in police custody. 24-year-old, Deandre Foster, has been booked into the Fresno County Jail on two counts of murder. Officers located Foster in Northwest Fresno, around 5:30 this afternoon, and arrested him.

The suspect is accused of shooting and killing 50-year-old, Michelle Johnson, and 21-year-old, Charlotte Ethridge. Authorities say, Johnson was trying to protect Ethridge during a domestic dispute with Foster. Tonight, we're learning more about the women whose lives were tragically taken.

ALYSSA FLORES: In a story you'll only see here tonight, Action News reporter, Gilbert Magallon, spoke to Johnson's mother. He tells us how Johnson gave her life to protect Ethridge, and the heartfelt gift she left for her future granddaughter.

GILBERT MAGALLON: Glynna Fenske says, her daughter, Michelle Johnson, loved with every ounce of her being. Helping people fueled her and caring for them gave her purpose.

GLYNNA FENSKE: She didn't have much materialistically, but she had such a big heart. And we're all just going to miss her so much.

GILBERT MAGALLON: Fenske says, Michelle made everyone in her life feel like they belonged.

GLYNNA FENSKE: She saw people as people, and she saw the value in everyone, even the ones that society don't like had no value.

GILBERT MAGALLON: At 50-years-old, Michelle was preparing for her most anticipated role, grandma. Her daughter is pregnant and Fenske says, she's due soon.

GLYNNA FENSKE: Michelle was just looking forward to becoming a grandmother any day.

GILBERT MAGALLON: Michelle also cared for another daughter. 21-year-old, Charlotte Ethridge, wasn't her biological family, but Michelle stepped in as her mother. Fenske says, Ethridge was in the foster care system when she met Michelle. It wasn't too long after meeting that Michelle took the title of foster parent. She also cared for Ethridge's two small children.

GLYNNA FENSKE: Michelle babysat for them and she called Charlotte her daughter.

GILBERT MAGALLON: Friday night, Michelle gave her life for Ethridge. Fresno police officer said, Michelle tried defending her from her boyfriend, Deandre Foster. Detective say, there was a domestic dispute between the couple. Michelle stepped in to protect Ethridge. Both women were shot and killed by Foster.

GLYNNA FENSKE: She-- she didn't know this was going to happen. She was just trying to save her friend and she did what she thought she could do to help.

GILBERT MAGALLON: Fenske vows her daughter's memory will live on through her family. And this book titled, "Grand Tales," written by Michelle, and dedicated to her granddaughter. In Fresno, Gilbert Magallon, ABC 30, Action News.