A hail of gunfire at the Cross Keys Apartment complex early Wednesday left a Columbus man dead, another in the hospital and a suspect jailed in connection with the deadly assault.
Columbus Police Maj. Gil Slouchick identified the dead as 27-year-old Markeese Hodge, who was struck three times by bullets.
He had gunshots to the right side of his chest, right forearm and groin area during the 4:39 a.m. shooting, Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said. Hodge was pronounced dead at Midtown Medical Center shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday.
A second victim, 31, was shot once and also treated at the hospital, but police said his injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.
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Police said that neither victim was a resident of the apartment complex on 3815 Baker Plaza Drive when the injured man became involved in a dispute that erupted into gunfire.
Slouchick said 23-year-old Jerome Chatmon was arrested around 9:50 a.m. Wednesday. He is charged with murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and held in the Muscogee County Jail for a 9 a.m. hearing Thursday in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
Hodge’s uncle, Bobby Hodge, told the Ledger-Enquirer that his nephew’s death “turned my whole world around.”
“It’s a sad day on our family, to lose a loved one so tragically is kind of unexplainable,” he said.
Bobby Hodge said that his nephew was “a regular kid.”
“He wasn’t a bad guy,” he said. “He didn’t do a lot of things that I wanted him to do. I wanted to see him go to school, I wanted to see him participate in sports. I wanted to see him become a role model for the city.
“I can’t say that he did that, but I still don’t think he needed to die like he died,” he added.
This is the second shooting at the Cross Keys Apartment complex in less than two weeks.
A Fort Benning soldier was one of three gunshot victims at the Baker Plaza Drive apartment complex on July 26.
Police said then the shooting was a result of a dispute. None of the victims were residents of the complex.
Slouchick said Columbus police are aware of the history of incidents.
“Certainly any time where we have multiple incidents in a location, police certainly look at that a little bit stronger,” he said.