‘He got the name ‘Black Jesus’ because he was helpful to everybody’: Family remembers Tift Co. shooting victim

Family remembers shooting victim as “Black Jesus,” handyman and mentor in community

TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - Family members are remembering Earnest Fuller, who died from a gunshot wound in Tifton.

Family members told WALB he was a community handyman and mentor to neighborhood kids.

One of Fuller’s nephews, James Bozeman is saddened by the loss.

“As far as crying, I think I’m pretty much out,” he said. "For the most part, I’m handling it alright. It gets hard at times.”

Fuller, 58, died in an early morning shooting on Monday.

It happened on the 2900 block of Wilton Avenue in Tifton.
It happened on the 2900 block of Wilton Avenue in Tifton. (Source: walb)

His was pronounced dead inside his home on the 2900 block of Wilton Avenue from a single gunshot, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Fuller went by many names such as “Boo,” “Mr. Boo” and “Black Jesus.”

Two brothers are remembering their uncle, Earnest Fuller after his death early Monday morning in Tifton. Many in the...

Posted by Bobby Poitevint WALB on Monday, January 13, 2020

“And from that photo, you can kinda say he resembles it but basically (he) got the name ‘Black Jesus’ because he was helpful to everybody in the community,” Emerich Wallace, Bozeman’s brother, said of a photo of Earnest.

Said Bozeman: “He was a jack of all trades. He did plumbing, electricity, worked with the city for a couple of years, just all-around nice guy.”

“He worked on people’s houses, roofs, just was always there willing to help whoever and whenever they needed it,” Wallace said.

Wallace remembers sitting in Fuller’s front yard playing chess with him and “he was the home field and I was away."

“I’m sad to see him go,” Wallace said. "It just seems like yesterday that we were having a chess game. He was talking to me, trying to guide me in the right direction with my relationship and also in life.”

Emerich Wallace
Emerich Wallace (Source: walb)
James Bozeman
James Bozeman (Source: walb)

Wallace said Fuller taught him chess and in 15 years, Wallace only won once.

“Brings back a lot of old memories,” Wallace said, looking at a chessboard.

Fuller’s family remembers him and his impact in the Tifton community. Family members were outside his home all morning.

Bozeman said around 13 people stopped by in just a few hours Monday morning.

“Some of them speed off crying. Some of them cry uncontrollably and just have to leave but for the most part a lot of them who are able to take the news they’re asking to check and see if we’re okay and make sure we have everything we need" said Bozeman.

Fuller’s body was taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Macon for an autopsy.

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