Prosecutors will not charge shooter in Brandon High basketball player Jayquon Johnson's death

There is insufficient evidenct to rebut a claim of self defense, the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office says.

Published April 14 2017
Updated April 15 2017

Heidi Quinn ran to her garage when she heard a gun go off New Year's Day.

When she opened the door, deputies said, she saw her 16-year-old son, Cody, standing over 17-year-old Brandon High School basketball player Jayquon Johnson, who was dying from a gunshot wound on the garage floor of her Valrico home.

Both of the teens were armed. The 51-year-old mother grabbed both guns and started burying them in the back yard of her rental, deputies said. Then she stopped.

She unearthed the guns and put them back where she found them, then called the police. But when deputies found the guns packed with dirt, she was found out.

Those new details about the fatal shooting of Johnson were contained in the arrest reports for mother and son, who were booked into the county jail Friday.

However, they do not face charges in Johnson's death. The Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office won't charge Cody Quinn with Johnson's death because "there is insufficient evidence to rebut (his) claim of self-defense," according to a statement released Friday by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

But the investigation into Johnson's death led deputies to arrest mother and son on other charges.

Deputies called Heidi Quinn on Friday and told the two that they faced criminal charges over their actions Jan. 1 in their garage on the 4500 block of Cabbage Palm Drive.

Cody Quinn was arrested on felony charges of possession of marijuana and oxycodone with intent to sell and misdemeanor charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and drug paraphernalia. His mother faces two felony counts of tampering with physical evidence.

The arrest reports are the first details made public about Johnson's death, a case that has vexed his former teammates and classmates at Brandon High. It also is the first time that Cody Quinn has been identified by deputies as the one who shot Johnson.

According to the arrest reports, Cody Quinn told investigators he was contacted by Johnson, a sophomore at Brandon High, and another male looking to buy marijuana. Quinn, a sophomore at Bloomingdale High School, was nervous because he didn't know them, so he said he bought a firearm from a friend to protect himself.

Johnson and the unidentified male arrived at Quinn's house Jan. 1. But when Quinn walked to their car with the marijuana, Johnson asked for more, the reports said. Quinn said the two would have to go with him into the garage so he could measure out a larger amount of marijuana. When they were inside the garage, Quinn said Johnson pulled out a firearm in an attempt to steal the drugs.

Quinn then pulled his gun from his waistband and shot Johnson once, the report said. The unidentified male ran away as Heidi Quinn came to the garage and attempted to hide the guns, according to the reports.

It was while searching the family's home that deputies said they found a safe. They got another search warrant to open the safe and, they said, found 34 grams of marijuana, 72 oxycodone pills, three marijuana grinders, a digital scale and a box of small bags.

The mother, who immigrated from Germany about a decade ago, turned herself and her son in at the Falkenburg Road Jail on Friday afternoon. Heidi Quinn was set to be released that evening after posting $4,000 bond, but her son remained in jail.

They have not lived in the Valrico rental home since the shooting, and the teen has not returned to Bloomingdale High, friends said. The German deli that Heidi Quinn owned in Bloomingdale has since closed, and she now works as a caterer and housekeeper.