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Court documents describe how multiple people tried to help murdered mother of six children

According to police, the body of Passion Pleasant was found along the interstate near East Capitol Street NE around 11:15 am on Saturday.

WASHINGTON — Court documents filed after the murder of a 32-year-old mother of six children describe how multiple people pulled over on I-295 on Saturday to try and help her while the man who was later arrested allegedly yelled at them.

According to police, the body of Passion Pleasant was found along the interstate near East Capitol Street NE around 11:15 am on Saturday.

She was found with multiple stab wounds, but investigators later stated that Pleasant died after being shot multiple times. 

In court papers filed in D.C., one witness described how they pulled over to help after what they thought had been a car accident.

The witness, who another witness said was an EMT, described to police how she saw a man on top of the woman and how she noticed numerous stab wounds on the victim. She later stated that the same man was yelling and screaming at others who also pulled over to try and help.

Police later arrested 30-year-old Gregory Johnson in connection to the crime and charged him with second degree murder while armed.

The court papers described how Johnson was wearing a GPS tracking bracelet on his ankle on Saturday, which showed that he was near Pleasant's home shortly before the crime.

Johnson told police he believed he was suffering from a "psychological breakdown" and the two of them allegedly got into a physical altercation inside the car while driving to his mother's home.

Multiple witnesses told police that Johnson allegedly tried to leave the scene and got back into his car before officers apprehended him.

On Sunday, the sister of Passion Pleasant described the pain of losing someone so close to her heart.

"Her love was her children. She lived for her children," said Portia Pleasant. "She was a powerhouse of a mother. She was raising her children and doing a lot of things on her own."

Pleasant said she learned of the body that was found along I-295 after seeing news reports on social media.

Later on, she found out about the tragic connection to her sister.

Pleasant told WUSA9 that Johnson and her sister had been in a relationship for a few years before the weekend crime. She alleged that Johnson was abusive toward her sister, despite putting on a much different persona around her family. 

"He came across to us as charming and charismatic. From what I know, in the beginning, he was a light to her life and the kids," she said. "As time went on, I came to learn that he became very abusive to her.”

Moving forward, Pleasant told WUSA9 that she hoped to broaden her sister's legacy by helping domestic violence victims in the region.

"It’s a very underrated and swept under the rug subject and it commonly happens," she said. "It’s not talked about like it should be. I have to be an advocate for my sister.” 

According to the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, domestic violence cases increased by up to 33% around the world in 2020. Multiple domestic violence shelters in the region have also echoed the increase in cases when speaking to WUSA 9. 

"Since the pandemic, there’s definitely been a jump with more people reaching out to us," said Samantha Lawson, who co-founded the Pak'D Project in Alexandria. "If you combine isolation with what they’re already facing in their domestic situation, it does make the situation more intense.”

Along with co-founder Misty Turner, Lawson helps domestic violence survivors in the area by providing them with needed supplies after leaving an abusive relationship.

Lawson told WUSA9 she hoped anyone experiencing domestic violence knew of the available resources they can use in the area.

"Just try to educate yourself with what’s out there and also your rights," she said. "A hotline would be a really good way to start if you’re not able to reach any other domestic violence shelters or helplines.”

The Pak'D Project can be reached at 703-420-5191 or at pakdproject21@gmail.com

If you or a loved one is in need of help, DC SAFE is a 24/7 crisis intervention agency for domestic violence. You do not need an appointment or ID to speak with a DC SAFE Advocate. All services are free and confidential. Please click here for resources. 

The DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCCADV) is a federally-recognized statewide coalition of organizations and groups that are available to help with everything from food, clothes, or address confidentiality to child services and job training. Click here for more information.

If you cannot find the resources you need in the previous links, or you are in crisis, please call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

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