Olive Branch man killed in the Philippines - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Olive Branch man killed in the Philippines

Jerry Melton Jerry Melton

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

OLIVE BRANCH, MS (WMC-TV) - Investigators in the Republic of the Philippines are trying to figure out who gunned down an Olive Branch man vacationing in the country's capital city of Manila.

Jerry Melton was shot in the chest during his first trip overseas to the country.

Monday, Melton's mother, Jeraldine Lewis, was still trying to make sense of the tragedy.

"Why would they want to shoot him?" she asked.  "Just cause he was a stranger there?  Because he was American?  And that goes over and over in my mind."
 
Melton's church friend, Brian Tedford, says the U.S. Consulate thought it was a robbery attempt - at first.
 
"Now, they don't believe that it was a robbery attack, because nothing was taken from him," Tedford said. "It was just a random drive-by. Just a cold murder."

Lewis said it could take up to three weeks before her son's body is returned to America."

"Each one of us liked everything together," she said. "We liked food - all kinds of food.  We liked to cook...I taught him how to cook."

But now, loved ones want answers.

"We can't seem to get police reports," Tedford said. "We can't seem to get any kind of cooperation from our embassy."

The Philippine embassy in Washington D.C. confirmed Monday it is looking into the case, but out of respect for Melton's family, would not comment.  Meanwhile, Lewis said she was grateful her son brought her to his church.

"My church family...I wouldn't know what I'd do without them," she said.

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