‘Traumatized’: US boxer shot dead in front of his 3 children
US boxer Danny Kelly Jr. was gunned down in front of his family in a Christmas Eve shooting which may stem from a road rage incident, according to police in Maryland.
Kelly, 30, was traveling with his girlfriend and three children to a holiday gathering in the nearby Temple Hills area of Prince George’s County on Friday when a vehicle pulled up alongside his SUV and a person inside opened fire.
Cops found Kelly unconscious behind the wheel with multiple gunshot wounds. The boxer was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
A police statement said no one else was injured in the incident and that it was being investigated as possible road rage.
“This is an absolutely heartbreaking loss for Mr. Kelly’s family and friends,” a police statement read.
“He is not home with his loved ones today on Christmas who are now mourning his loss instead of celebrating the holiday.
“St. Barnabas Road is a heavily-traveled roadway. If any other drivers saw anything there on Christmas Eve or may have information that could help, please call us. You can stay anonymous. We are committed to providing answers to his family.”
Police are offering a reward of up to $25,000 for any information which leads to an arrest and indictment in the case.
One day before Christmas... someone shoots a man dead in his car on Branch Rd. near St. Barnabas. @PGPDNews say they're looking into all angles right now for a motive, including road rage. They're asking for tips to solve this case at 1-866-411-TIPS. (@wusa9) 📹:@Mariovizcarpic.twitter.com/3RfPVEodAz— John Henry (@JohnHenryWUSA) December 25, 2021
Kelly – known by the ring moniker ‘Smooth’ – is listed as boasting a record of 10 wins from his 14 professional bouts between 2012 and 2019.
His final bout came against Nick Kisner in October 2019, which ended in a TKO victory for Kelly.
Kisner was among those to pay tribute to his late rival, writing in a Facebook message: “Danny was a good dude. Me and him were cool before the fight and even after the fight. He was a hell of fighter too.
“But truth be told, I never had any clue I’d be the last person that he ever fought. And in a way I’m glad that he went out with a win. He was a good guy, and he deserved [that].”
The Daily Mail quoted a family friend as saying that Kelly’s children – who range from age four to nine – have been “traumatized” by the incident.
“He was a wonderful dad,” Kelly’s godmother, Bernadine Walker, told WUSA9.
“He loved his babies. He loved his children… We traveled all over the place watching him boxing, only for him to knock his opponent out in thirty seconds...
“He just had that trigger in him. He had that drive to be a good boxer.”