According to local police, officers were called to Johnny Jackson's house at approximately 11:30 p.m. after a neighbor phoned in a noise complaint. The caller, who lived above Jackson, reported that the musician and an unidentified woman were having a heated exchange on the first floor of the building.
The police entered Jackson's home and found the 54-year-old unconscious with a stab wound to his chest. Less than an hour later, the Lake County coroner's office pronounced him dead.
The person who placed the emergency call told cops she went downstairs after hearing the commotion and found her neighbor lying in living room. It was then she contacted the police.
Police have no details on the woman Jackson was supposedly arguing with, including how she knew the drummer, although the neighbor described the woman as an acquaintance of Jackson's.
No arrests have been made. The case is being treated as a homicide investigation.
Jackson joined his famous cousins' singing troupe in the late 1960s, replacing the group's original drummer, Milford Hite. While Motown sessions musicians played on most of the group's greatest cuts, including "I Want You Back," "ABC," "I'll Be There" and "Never Can Say Goodbye," Johnny Jackson was the band's concert drummer. After the group disbanded, he joined an outfit called the White Doves.
There has always been some debate as to whether or not Johnny Jackson was a blood relative or legitimate cousin of the hit-making family; however, it is believed that he was a nephew of patriarch Joe Jackson.
It's not immediately known whether Johnny Jackson had ever married or had children; he was living alone at the time of his death.
"It hurts me so bad," Jackson's childhood friend and White Doves bandmate Anthony Acoff told the Associated Press. "I called him that night. We were supposed to go to a jam session."
"He was a show drummer," said another old friend, Gordon Keith (who has sued the Jackson 5 over some early recordings). "There were times that he would outshine Michael at their shows."