Police have not released the shooting suspect's name or description, but said the shooter had some type of relationship with Johnson.
Johnson was shot in the parking lot of the Forest Ridge Apartments, located off Albemarle Road, shortly before 5 p.m. The teenager graduated from East Mecklenburg High School in June. She was enrolled at Central Piedmont Community College and was set to begin classes in January.
"That was my best friend. That was my everything. And she's gone," said Carlon Johnson, the victim's brother. "She's gone and there ain't no coming back."
He said his sister was a happy teenager with no enemies.
"(She was) not somebody that would do anybody any harm," he said. "She never hurt nobody, she never got into a fight."
Police said there was some type of altercation in the parking lot before several shots were fired. One bullet hit Johnson in her abdomen.
As neighbors watched, Chaufa Johnson's mother and brother ran over and cradled her in their arms.
"I held her in my arms. I said, ‘Everything's going to be OK. It's going to be OK,'" Carlon Johnson said.
Investigators took statements from several residents who witnessed the shooting.
"There were quite a few witnesses out here that we're speaking with, and we're following up on leads as far as possible," said Capt. Lisa Goelz, with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Police have not released a motive in the shooting. Family members said Johnson had money in her hand when she was shot. Robbery detectives were at the scene of the shooting for several hours on Wednesday.