3rd Infantry Division veteran killed in domestic dispute - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

3rd ID veteran killed in domestic dispute, suspect also dead

SOURCE: Gloria Nichols SOURCE: Gloria Nichols
North Circle Drive, Vidalia, GA North Circle Drive, Vidalia, GA
SOURCE: Gloria Nichols SOURCE: Gloria Nichols

Maranda Nichols, 28, was shot and killed two days after Thanksgiving outside her mother's North Circle Drive home in Vidalia.

Maranda's mother, Gloria Nichols, said, "There was a bullet hole right here in her jaw."

Maranda's mother says her daughter was outside having a casual conversation with her boyfriend of about six months, 28-year-old Samuel Tellu, when all of a sudden there was a gunshot. Mrs. Nichols says Tellu then went to the door and had a strange look on his face.

"I don't know what kind of a look it was. I just don't know. I ain't ever seen him look like that before. He just gave me a look and then got in the truck and just drove off," said, Nichols.

Vidalia Police Sergeant Gerick Palmer said, "We started a search for a 2005 Mercury Mountaineer, white in color."

Just before 7:30 a.m. Sunday, officers found the white SUV in neighboring Montgomery County.

"The offender, identified as 28-year-old Samuel Tellu, was found inside the vehicle also suffered from a fatal gunshot wound," said Sgt. Palmer.

Nichols said, "Thank God for some closure. And they said he had a gunshot wound to the head. He was dead in the truck."

But for Maranda Nichols' family, closure doesn't erase the pain of losing someone they all say had the biggest heart and who was loved by so many.

"Everybody around here loved her, from here to Savannah to Atlanta. Everybody loved her. She just never met a stranger. You couldn't ask for another better daughter," said Nichols.

Tellu was a petroleum specialist assigned to the Third Combat Aviation Brigade, Third ID. He had two and a half years of service and had one deployment to Afghanistan from fall 2009 to fall 2010. 

Miranda Nichols served in the Georgia National Guard and the Third ID.

The U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Command are assisting with the investigation.

The Third ID has released the following statement:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been touched by this incident. We are cooperating with civilian law enforcement."

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