4 year old shot in face; LaGrange police issue warrants for man who left scene


(Leemarkese Melson)

LaGrange Police are searching for a man in connection with an incident that left a four year old with a gunshot wound to the face.

Police were responding to a call at a home on Kelly Street shortly after 2:00 p.m. on May 18 in reference to a child shot. Enroute to that home, police were then sent to 201 Whitesville Street (the Speedy Serve convenience store) in reference to an injured child. When officers arrived at the Speedy Serve, they determined that a 4-year-old female child had been shot in the face while at the Kelley Street home. Information obtained during the initial investigation indicates that the shooting was accidental. The child was immediately transported to a Columbus area hospital for treatment and was later transported to Egleston Hospital in Atlanta. The child is currently listed in critical but stable condition.

Warrants have been issued for Leemarkese Deangelo Melson, age 28 on the following charges: Cruelty to a Child in the 2nd Degree, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Tampering with Evidence.

Police say Melson left a loaded handgun within the reach of children at the Kelley Street address at the time of the incident. It is believed that the victim’s 6-year-old sibling located the weapon and was playing with it, causing it to discharge and strike the 4-year-old in the face. 

After the shooting, police say Melson fled the scene, taking the weapon with him. Melson, a convicted felon, was already wanted for two counts of Violation of Probation and one count of Failure to Appear. 

Anyone with information regarding Melson’s whereabouts is urged to contact the LaGrange Police Department, Troup County 911, or Troup County Crimestoppers at (706)812-1000.

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