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Marine murdered while on leave to attend grandmother’s funeral

Police caution tape. (TNS/Released)

The man whose body was found on Madison Alley S.E. early Thursday morning was home from the military to attend his great-grandmother’s funeral.

Someone heard shots fired in the Madison Street bridge area about 4:45 a.m. and called 911.

Witnesses said they saw a body lying face-down on Madison Alley shortly after they heard gunshots, said Maj. Wade Glover, Thomasville Police Department public information officer.

Police detectives and Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents began processing the crime scene at 5 a.m. Thursday.

Glover said officers have not determined a motive or who is involved in the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Chance Jammal Kelley, a Marine stationed in South Carolina.

Kelley was shot multiple times near Madison Alley’s intersection with Merrill Street, police said.

His 2014 Honda Civic was stolen, police added. The vehicle was found early Thursday afternoon at 127 Georgia Ave.

The victim’s great-uncle, Keith Tyrone Thomas, said Kelley had returned home to attend the Saturday funeral of his great-grandmother, Bernice Thomas, Thomas’ mother.

Glover said law enforcement needs the public’s help if they saw or heard anything related to the shooting. The name of anyone providing information will remain confidential.

“This is a tragic event,” Police Chief Troy Rich said at the crime scene. “I want to assure the community it was an isolated incident.”

The chief said all resources would be called out to solve the crime quickly and arrest the perpetrator to make the community safer.

When asked how his family would deal with the dual deaths, Thomas said, “One day at a time. That’s all we can do.”


© 2020 The Valdosta Daily Times