Police say Jerome Chatmon fatally wounded 27-year-old Markeese Hodge at the Cross Keys Apartment complex Wednesday after the homicide victim refused to allow the 23 year old to pat him down before entering a party, according to court testimony.
Chatmon faced murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime charges during a Thursday morning Recorder's Court hearing. He was arrested Wednesday after police found him at his apartment, the address of which was unavailable.
Sgt. Lance Deaton told the court the shooting began at 4:39 a.m., while Chatmon and his brother were "working the door" at a party held at the 3815 Baker Plaza Drive apartment.
"They weren't being compensated and no one told them to do that," Deaton said.
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When Hodge approached, accompanied by a 31-year-old man, Chatmon demanded to pat the men down. The men refused, and Chatmon and his brother demanded they take conversation out to the parking lot. There, after a heated discussion, Deaton said Chatmon produced a .40 caliber weapon and opened fire.
Police say another unknown person began firing shots across the parking lot during the shooting. Officials later found 9mm bullets on scene, in addition to multiple .40 caliber shell casings and live rounds.
Deaton said there is no evidence Hodge or the other victim were carrying weapons during the confrontation. Multiple witnesses later confirmed Chatmon was the one who fired the shots, which hit Hodge three times — in the right side of his chest, his right forearm and his groin area. Hodge died of his injuries shortly after 9 a.m.
The second victim was also injured during the shooting. His injuries did not appear life threatening, police officials said Wednesday.
After witnessing his brother shoot Hodge, Chatmon's brother took off, Deaton said. Chatmon later picked up his brother at a nearby intersection and the two returned to their apartment, where they were picked up by police shortly after.
Deaton said the victims and Chatmon did not appear to know each other before the shooting.
Judge Michael Joyner set no bonds for any of Chatmon's charges during the hearing. His case was forwarded to Muscogee County Superior Court.
Hodge's family members described him as a "regular kid" who "wasn't a bad guy."
“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," Hodge's uncle, Bobby Hodge, said. "I can’t say that he did that, but I still don’t think he needed to die like he died."
It's also the second shooting in less than two weeks at the Cross Keys Apartment complex.
During that July 26 shooting, a Fort Benning soldier was one of three gunshot victims at the complex. None of the victims were residents.
Investigative Services Maj. Gil Slouchick said police are looking into the events at the complex.
“Certainly any time where we have multiple incidents in a location, police certainly look at that a little bit stronger,” he told the Ledger-Enquirer.