Prominent Mason Killed in Bluffton Triple Shooting - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/11/07

Prominent Mason Killed in Bluffton Triple Shooting

Grady Bozeman Grady Bozeman

We're learning more about yesterday's triple shooting in the Low Country. It happened on U.S. Highway 278 just east of South Carolina Highway 46 in Bluffton at the new Best Buy store that's under construction. Beaufort County Sheriff's deputies said contractor James Mobley shot and killed two other contractors, Rolando Matta and Grady Bozeman, before killing himself.

Bozeman, who was the site supervisor, tried to break up a fight between the two other men. He also served as a prominent member of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in Georgia. Clyde Griffin, the past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Georgia, had known him well for more than 30 years.

"He was everybody's friend," said Griffin. "He was well-known and well-liked all over the state by all who knew him."

Griffin, who now serves with the Scottish Rite Masons in Savannah, learned what happened to his friend last night.

"It was as though the wind went out of my sails," he said. "It was a blow. A real blow."

Bozeman, who was the Mason's senior grand deacon in Georgia, was also the superintendent for construction on the new Best Buy store in Bluffton. The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office said he was shot eight times while trying to break up a fight between Rolando Matta and James Mobley. Deputies believe Mobley shot both men, before turning the gun on himself. None of the three men survived. Griffin said he was not surprised his friend tried to intervene.

"That's exactly what he would do," he said. "He knew right from wrong and certainly, he wanted them to understand, you couldn't settle differences by fighting."

Bozeman was in line to become Georgia's Grand Lodge Master in a few years. Griffin said he embodied everything the Masons stand for.

"We'll remember him as a giant in our fraternity," he said, "and he'll never be forgotten."

Bozeman was 66 years old and lived in Jasper, Georgia. He has a wife, six children and several grandchildren. The Masons will plan a memorial for Grady Bozeman, once the family finalizes their funeral arrangements.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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