Man mourns cousin's death in the Philippines - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Man mourns cousin's death in the Philippines

Jerry Melton Jerry Melton

OLIVE BRANCH, MS (WMC-TV) - A relative of a Mid-South man gunned down early this month in the Philippines spoke about his cousin's last moments Tuesday.

Tony Bennett traveled to the Philippines with his cousin, Jerry Melton, to help him get away from it all.

"Everybody loved Jerry," Bennett said. "If you didn't like him, you didn't like people. That's pretty much the bottom line."

It was Bennett who invited Melton to join him for a vacation in the Philippines.

"He just wanted to get away," Bennett said. "I wanted to give him a real vacation, and this is what happened."

On March 5th, Melton was killed while on vacation - shot once.  The bullet traveled straight through his forearm and into his chest causing a fatal heart attack.

"I've been wondering ever since - hurting ever since," Bennett said.

Bennett spent the night of March 4th in his hotel room with his girlfriend. He said his cousin was downstairs in the hotel restaurant, and against his advice ultimately wandered out alone, taking a cab to a nightclub. From there, Bennett said, he doesn't know what happened.

"Jerry's the type, he wants to take all that he can get in," he said. "'Well, Tony's asleep maybe I can go do some sightseeing.' Who knows what was on his mind?"

According a police report from the Philippines, at 4:30 in the morning, Melton stumbled into a nearby hotel, bleeding and asking a security guard for a ride to the hospital, where he died just before 5:30.

Police interviewed two witnesses, who said Melton was shot by two men on a motorcycle.  Neither has been caught.

A Memorial Service for Jerry Melton has been scheduled for Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at Father's House Assembly of God in Olive Branch.

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