THOMASVILLE — Bryan Howell was at his teaching job Thursday morning when he learned the victim of a fatal shooting was his great-nephew.
A seventh-grade reading teacher at MacIntyre Park Middle School, Howell learned about the shooting from a relative.
“One of my nephews just called me and told me who it was,” Howell said shortly after arriving at the scene where Chance Jammal Kelley was found fatally shot multiple times.
Howell said his family owns property on the four corners at the intersection of Madison Alley S.E. and Merrill Street. Kelley’s body was found on Madison Alley a short distance from Merrill.
Howell wept as he looked at the area and said it needs to be redeveloped.
He has talked to a city official in an effort to obtain funding for an improvement project.
“It’s just a depressed area,” Howell said. “It’s depressed economically.”
The shooting victim, a 19-year-old Marine home to attend the Saturday funeral of his great-grandmother, was staying with relatives who live nearby on family property.
Howell described Kelley as “an intelligent young man. He had just joined the Marine Corps.”
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820