Update: Victim identified in death investigation at Dougherty High

Updated: Sep. 3, 2020 at 3:34 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - A homicide investigation is underway at Dougherty High School, according to Coroner Michael Fowler.

Caleb Walker Thompson, 18, of Worth County, has been identified as the victim, according to Fowler.

Fowler said the victim was found dead in the school’s parking lot after a shooting. Officials have not said where or when that shooting happened.

“It’s still under investigation as to what happened right now. But it is a homicide investigation. I think it is just an isolated incident, I feel. I don’t think its something that someone is doing, I think it’s just an isolated incident at this present time. But it’s still under investigation,” said Coroner Fowler.

Homicide investigation underway

Posted by Tesia Reed WALB on Thursday, September 3, 2020

On Thursday afternoon, the Dougherty County School System released a statement on the incident:

“Thursday morning, an 18-year old male, now identified as Caleb Thompson, was found dead in a vehicle in the parking lot at Dougherty Comprehensive High School. Mr. Thompson was an employee of a local company doing subcontract work on the Dougherty High campus. ’Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Mr. Thompson,’ Superintendent Kenneth Dyer said. ’As a father, my heart goes out to his parents.’ The case has been turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation who is working with the Dougherty County School System Police Department. ’We will do everything possible to assist in this investigation and help bring those responsible to justice,’ the school system said.

Thompson was employed by MetroPower. President and Chief Operating Officer Danny Gibson released the following statement:

“Today, we learned of the death of a MetroPower employee. Our thoughts and prayers are with the individual’s family and all who knew and loved him, including his colleagues at MetroPower. Though we do not believe the individual’s passing was in any way tied to his work at MetroPower, we have been and will continue to work with all local authorities as they complete their investigation. As this is an ongoing investigation, additional inquiries should be directed to the Albany Police Department.”

Thompson’s cousin says the news of his death came as a shock.

He didn’t want to share his name with the public.

“I was in Moultrie at Belk’s. I was buying some work pants, and my dad called. He asked me, ‘Have you been on Facebook?’ and I said, ‘No,’ and he said, ‘Well, it says that Caleb was found dead in Albany.’ And it was just shocking. I couldn’t believe it. I just cried all the way home,” said Thompson’s cousin.

Thompson’s red and white mustang could be seen being towed from the scene after his body was taken to the morgue by Dougherty County Coroner, Michael Fowler.

Dougherty County Commissioner Clinton Johnson says violent shootings have become too regular on the east side of Albany.

“This has been a consistent issue. There was a murder in east Albany on the previous day, so to wake up to another gun violence crime is just heartbreaking.”

Police canvassed the neighborhood looking for witnesses after Thompson was found.

Police canvassed the neighborhood looking for witnesses after Thompson was found.
Police canvassed the neighborhood looking for witnesses after Thompson was found.(WALB)

Dougherty County School System police have turned the investigation over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

So far, no suspects have been named in Thompson’s death.

Thompson’s cousin says that other young people in Albany should be careful when out and about.

“Watch your surroundings. Don’t go somewhere that you shouldn’t be going. And make sure if you are going somewhere, make sure somebody that you know can help you out if you get stuck in a bad situation, and just get right with God. That’s all I’ve got to say,” said Thompson’s cousin.

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