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Arrest made in Christmas Eve shooting of local professional boxer

Danny Kelly Jr. of Clinton, Maryland, was shot and killed in what's being investigated as a road rage incident.

CLINTON, Md. — An arrest has been made in connection with a fatal shooting in Temple Hills on Christmas Eve, Prince George's County Police announced Friday. 

The shooting took the life of professional boxer Danny Kelly Jr. of Clinton, Maryland. Kelly and his family were heading to a holiday dinner at the time.

According to a press release from Prince George's Police, 25-year-old Markell Lewis of Clinton has been arrested and charged with Kelly's death. Officials say the shooting was due to road rage and Lewis has confessed to pulling the trigger.

The preliminary investigation revealed Kelly, his girlfriend and his three children were heading northbound on St. Barnabas Road when Lewis allegedly pulled up next to Kelly’s pickup and opened fire. No one else in Kelly’s truck was hurt.

"He was a wonderful dad," said his godmother, Bernadine Walker. "He loved his babies. He loved his children."  

Kelly was well-known in the boxing community. He competed professionally in places like the Barclays Center and Maryland Live. According to BoxRec.com, he had a record of 10-3-1 on the professional circuit, including nine knockouts.

Recently released surveillance video of the incident showed a suspect vehicle on St. Barnabas Road shortly after the shooting. It stopped momentarily at a red light before proceeding out of the camera’s view. The suspect vehicle was described as possibly a 2007-2009 model year dark blue GMC Envoy. 

Investigators say they identified the GMC Envoy used in the crime and found it was registered to a relative of Lewis. Lewis was arrested on Dec. 27 for possession of a gun, that weapon was later linked to Kelly's death. Lewis was then arrested in connection to the deadly Christmas Eve shooting Thursday. 

Lewis faces a total of 36 charges, including first-degree murder, second-degree murder and multiple counts of attempted murder.

“Our detectives were resolute in their determination to find Mr. Kelly’s killer who had no regard for anyone’s life when he opened fire on Christmas Eve. We hope this arrest offers his devastated family a bit of comfort as they continue to mourn this loss,” said Chief Malik Aziz.

Kelly's cousin, Simone Deloach, spoke during a press conference with the Prince George's County Police Department and said this was the second son her aunt had lost and called for an end to "senseless gun violence" happening in the county. 

"He was a heavyweight champion, but he was also a gentle giant," Deloach said. "He loved making people happy and seeing the joy on our faces. That's what he brought to our family."

A reward of up to $25,000 was being offered for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case. The ATF Baltimore Field Division was offering an additional $5,000 reward as well.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call detectives at 301-516-2512. Tips can be made anonymously by calling Prince George's County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS, or online at pgcrimesolvers.com.

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