When an argument on the front steps of a mobile home turned into a fatal shooting Monday morning, it marked the first homicide in Walthourville in more than two years, police said.
The suspect, identified by the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office as Thomas Edward Jordan Jr., and the victim, Kenneth Lee Jackson — who knew each other — engaged in “what appeared to be a short, heated verbal altercation seconds prior to the shooting,” Walthourville police Chief Bernie Quarterman said in a statement.
Jordan remained at large as of press time Tuesday. He was last seen in a burgundy Toyota Tundra with license plate PDR-2552. Witnesses said he was seen leaving the scene of the shooting in a gray vehicle.
Capt. James Snider, chief of detectives for the Sheriff’s Office, said investigators believe Jordan left the area. Snider added that anyone who sees Jordan should call law enforcement and not approach because he is
considered armed and dangerous.
The Sheriff’s Office has issued a warrant for Jordan’s arrest on a murder charge, Snider said.
Quarterman said, “I ask that the suspect turn himself in to provide his side of what took place that led to this tragic” shooting.
It was not immediately clear what the argument was about, but Quarterman stressed Tuesday that the violence was “not a random shooting incident.” The police chief said that Walthourville “is a safe place to live.”
“The Walthourville Police Department is continuing its community policing effort proactively patrolling and communicating with our public, making all attempts to keep the citizens and property safe,” the Police Department’s statement says. “We are continuing to work positively with our young people to prevent days like this. This is a sad day for everyone.”
Quarterman and another Walthourville police officer were dispatched to Cedar Hill Mobile Home Park on West Oglethorpe Highway at 10:16 a.m. Monday. The officers saw Jackson lying on the ground next to the steps leading to his mobile home. A man who identified himself as Jackson’s brother was on top of him, trying to render first aid, Quarterman said.
Quarterman took over administering first aid and heard Jackson breathing faintly. Liberty County EMS personnel arrived and took over first-aid attempts. The Sheriff’s Office also responded. Snider said Jackson “passed away despite the efforts of EMS and other first responders to do resuscitation.”
Snider said Jackson was struck once by a bullet that exited his body and was later found in the living room of the mobile home.
Quarterman thanked the Sheriff’s Office for its assistance.
Quarterman and Walthourville Mayor Daisy Pray expressed “deepest sympathy to the family,” according to the Police Department statement.
“The mayor and chief are assuring that officers are checking on and communicating with the (victim’s) family to assist them during this time of need,” the statement says. “Our prayers are with them.”