Former classmate remembers Savannah shooting victim as ‘outstanding and caring individual’

1 dead, 1 arrested in shooting at Homewood Suites in Savannah

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - UPDATE: Savannah Police have identified the victim in a deadly shooting that took place Tuesday in the 600 block of River Street.

Ronnie Elijah Cooper. Source: Chatham County Jail.
Ronnie Elijah Cooper. Source: Chatham County Jail.

Officers responded to a parking lot on E. River Street around 12:15 p.m. to find the body of 30-year-old Marcus Chaney.

Police say a suspect was immediately caught by Good Samaritans after he was seen running from the crime scene.

Police arrested 30-year-old Ronnie Cooper on a murder charge. Officers say Cooper and Chaney knew each other.

Cooper is also facing a felony probation violation. Chatham County court records online show Cooper was in the midst of a three-year probation term following an aggravated stalking charge. Part of the conditions of his probation required attending and completing a family violence intervention program as well as a mental health evaluation and treatment.

WTOC caught up with one of Marcus Chaney’s former classmates from A.E. Beach High School, who was shocked when she heard the news of his death.

“I couldn’t believe it because he was such a sweet person,” said Knicera Boddie. “I don’t really understand why he was robbed of his life, taken from his children and his family.”

Boddie says even though she was a year ahead of Chaney in school, they were close. She says Chaney helped her when she was bullied by other students.

“He was a very brilliant individual. He had the ability to light up a room. Very charismatic and very funny; just an outstanding and caring individual.”

Boddie says this is the second classmate she was close with who has been taken too early, and because of that, she’s working on a partnership with area churches and organizations to have some kind of anti-gun violence rally in Savannah with hopes of shedding light on an issue that tears families apart.

If you’d like to be a part of that effort, email

The investigation is ongoing.

Victim identified, suspect arrested in River Street homicide


Police are investigating a fatal shooting that took place in the parking lot of Homewood Suites in downtown Savannah.

According to Savannah Police, one person is dead and one person is in custody.

It appears the victim was shot in the parking lot of the hotel. At this time, we don’t know much about the victim, or the person police have detained for questioning. We do know it was the actions of a quick-thinking group of contractors nearby who tackled a man running by. That’s the same man we believe police are questioning.

“We were standing here working, and then all of a sudden, we heard like nine shots, simultaneously,” said Jonathan Roberson. “Then, we saw the guy running up the street, and the whole road crew was chasing him up the street, and they tackled him around the other side in front of the building, and took the pistol from him and held him there until the police got here.”

Police do not believe there is any threat to the public.

General McIntosh Boulevard was closed from Randolph to East Broad streets for some time, but has since reopened.

'It’s really surprising, Roberson said. “Usually, you have shootings everywhere in Savannah of course, but never this far up, not like this. Not in the middle of the daytime. Immediately, we didn’t know where they were coming from, so it was like 'duck and run, duck and run.”

Live Updates:

Posted by WTOC Sean Evans on Tuesday, August 6, 2019

#WATCH: Savannah Police have closed General McIntosh Blvd. from Randolph Street to East Broad due to a fatal shooting. >> Romney Smith has the latest on this story.

Posted by WTOC-TV on Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Source: WTOC
Source: WTOC

WTOC is at the scene working to find out more. Stay with us for the latest updates.

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