SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Michael Chaney says the nightmare started Tuesday when he received a phone call from someone who told him something had happened to his son, Marcus.
“I attempted to reach him by telephone and was unable to and I made some other calls and that’s when I discovered something really had happened, ” Mr. Chaney told us.
What happened was the worst thing a father would imagine. 30-year-old Marcus Chaney had been shot to death in a parking lot near a hotel where he worked as an engineer.
A painter working on Bay Street captured some video of construction workers chasing the suspect from River Street up to Bay Street and then tackling him and holding him for police.
Carlos Reyes, who took the video, said it all happened shortly after noon on Tuesday. “The world’s going crazy,” he told us.
A coworker, Johnathan Roberson said described the incident: “It was about 12:15 and we had just come back from lunch and all of a sudden we heard like nine shots (one after the other) and turned around and saw the guy running up the street and the next thing you know the road crew jumped on him and tackled him right here and held him down and took the gun from him until the police got here.”
The suspect is identified as 30-year-old Ronnie Cooper. Wednesday afternoon, Cooper appeared in court on a murder charge in connection with Marcus Chaney’s murder. Police have not indicated a possible motive but did indicate that Cooper and Marcus Chaney’s wife had once been involved and have a minor child together.
Mr. Chaney said his son had been married to his wife, Victoria, for almost five years and that the pair was raising two children together. Mr. Chaney also said that Victoria is pregnant. “She’s having a hard time right now,” he said. “She has had to tell the kids that he is not coming home.”
Michaela Chaney talked about her big brother Marcus, saying even though there was a big gap in age, that Marcus was a great big brother. “He always did encourage me. Marcus said if I ever needed anything all I had to do was call him and he would get it,” she told News 3.
Mr. Chaney said he is a man of faith and thinks this must have been his son’s time: “I do realize that it was in God’s hands and that was his time to leave yesterday.”
“Marcus used to tell me, ‘Daddy, I’m at this point where I’m going to get everything together now,’ and so I was happy for him because I watched him grow into a man and I was proud of him,” he said.
Mr. Chaney said he really didn’t know why Cooper would have wanted to hurt his son.
“I don’t know but I do want to say violence is not the way to go in Savannah. And I don’t know why the young man did what he may have done what he did, but at the same time, our faith tells us we must pray for him and his family as we go through this grieving process,” said Mr. Chaney.
Cooper was denied bond on the murder charge. He is also facing a charge of felony probation violation in connection with an aggravated stalking case from 2017. It does not appear the 2017 case is related to the Chaney case.
Chatham County Sheriff John Wilcher told News 3 his office had attempted (a number of times) to serve the warrant on the probation violation but could not locate Cooper at the address provided in court records.