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POLICE REQUEST PUBLIC'S HELP IN SLAYING OF SYLMAR MAN.

Byline: Jaxon Van Derbeken and Steve Getzug Daily News Staff Writers

Police said Friday they have few leads into the slaying of a 26-year-old Sylmar man who was shot while driving on Glenoaks Boulevard near Brand Avenue.

Michael Ryan Johnson was found slumped over the wheel of his Mustang that had crashed into a wall after the Thursday night shooting, which police believe may have been sparked by a traffic dispute.

Lt. Rico Castro said that he hopes the public will come forward to fill in the missing pieces of the case.

``We are asking for the public's help about a traffic dispute between a black Mustang and any other vehicles on Glenoaks Boulevard'' near Brand Avenue, Castro said.

``We're investigating all possibilities,'' Castro said. ``But it's likely that it was some sort of dispute on the road involving moving vehicles.''

Johnson's longtime girlfriend - worried when her boyfriend didn't show two hours after he told her he was making a fast-food stop and coming home - drove onto the crime scene and was told that he had been killed.

The pair had planned to become engaged this weekend.

``We both knew we were going to get married,'' Christine Sasner, 20, recalled Friday through tears. ``Justice has to be served, because he deserves it. I just want to find out who did this.''

Johnson's father, Roy, said he planned to turn over the business he operated for 22 years in San Fernando to his son - one of three he raised with his wife in Sylmar.

``He lived for me. My love was his love,'' Roy Johnson said of the specialty auto business the pair had crafted. ``He said, `Dad, I'm never going to leave you.' ''

Witnesses told police that someone fired several shots from another car near the intersection of Glenoaks and Brand Boulevard. Police did not release a vehicle description.

Sasner said Johnson was shot once, the bullet entering his body under his right arm. She said police told her they believe Johnson drove about one-half block before his car crashed.

A coroner's official said Johnson was pronounced dead at 8:39 p.m. Thursday at Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills. An autopsy was pending.

CAPTION(S):

2 Photos

Photo: (1) Frankie Johnson, mother of slain motorist Mic hael Ryan Johnson, 26, hugs a friend as the victim's girlfriend, Christine Sasner, 20, grieves his death Thursday in San Fernando.

(2) Christine Sasner is held by Michael Ryan Johnson in a high school prom photo.

Hans Gutknecht / Daily News
COPYRIGHT 1996 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 11, 1996
Words:419
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