Tift county man shot and killed in front of family members - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Tift county man shot and killed in front of family members

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

TIFTON, GA (WALB) - A man was gunned down in the middle of a Tifton street Thursday night.

26-year-old James Melton of Hazlehurst was killed in what his family said was a long-standing dispute.

This afternoon, the suspected shooter was arrested in Valdosta, bringing a little bit of comfort to the victim's family grief-stricken.

Loving, funny, a family man. Only a few of the many ways James Melton's family used to describe him.

But in just seconds last night, the man they loved so much, was taken away with a bullet.

And many of them witnessed the whole thing.

"That was my baby brother," cried the victim's sister, Nakesha Green.

Tears and heartache consume the Melton family today.

"He was a giving person, loved to laugh," she said.

Still in disbelief that the man they love, 26-year-old James Melton is gone.

"He was just a young man trying to make it," said Green.  

A young man who left behind a wife and six kids.

Investigators say the man responsible for the family's heartache is 39-year-old Floydzell Johnson of Tifton.

"Floyd just pointed the gun. Everyone just getting down. Then next thing I know theres this BAM," said Green.

Deputies were called out to a fight. When they got to Short Street and 2nd Avenue the fight was over. Melton was shot and bleeding.

"He ran to the police car. He was so panicked. He couldn't breath," she cried.

"And I'm like breath. And he laid down on the ground and he took all the breaths he could take. I knew it was over," said Green.

After the shooting Johnson went to Valdosta. That's where deputies arrested him this afternoon.

"I just hope justice prevails. Just too much of this going on," said his aunt RueNette Melton.

The Melton family says they know the man officials say killed James. They say Johnson's girlfriend had been threatening James and his family for months.

"He shot him dead in the heart. It was revengeful malice murder," said another aunt, Patricia Melton.

Deputies say when they pulled up to the scene last night, Melton was still alive. He even spoke to the deputy, but he died before the ambulance arrived.

James Melton worked with his father at Thornton Funeral Home in Hazelhurst.


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