For several hours, a Macon man lay dead inside of his apartment until a friend found him Monday morning and called the authorities. Now investigators are trying to determine who wanted the 40-year-old man who was nearly blind and on dialysis dead.
The Bibb County Coroner has identified the victim as Milton Stephens, Jr. who turned 40 in July. So far, investigators have no motive for the deadly shooting and no suspect. Still, the victim’s family is calling the killer a coward.
His second cousin, Shirley Sinclair, who lives a few buildings over, cried as Stephens’ father and stepmother moved through a clot of sheriff’s deputies at the scene, according to the Macon Telegraph.
“Whoever it was was on foot, a coward,” Sinclair said. “That man didn’t bother nobody. ... He was sick. If he could help you, he’d help. He hurt nobody. ... He was fun-loving. He just liked to see a smile on your face.”
The 911 call came in at around 9:50 a.m., according to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies responded to the Rockland Apartments at 2295 Recreation Road and found the man’s body, deputies said.
He was found dead just inside the doorway of apartment K-2 with the door closed, according to the paper. Residents told police they heard gunshots about 3 a.m., the paper reported.
Coroner Leon Jones said the man had been dead for several hours when he was found. Someone had shot him in the chest with a 9mm handgun, Jones said.
Investigators found no evidence of forced entry into the home, Jones said.
Deon Williams was the one who found his friend dead Monday morning. Williams was on the phone with Stephens Sunday night about 11, the paper reported.
“He said he had an important phone call on the line and that he would call back,” Williams, 29, said. “But he never called back.”
Williams and his brother had planned to pick up Stephens on Monday morning so that Stephens could help Williams’ brother apply for a car loan. Without bothering to knock, Williams said he grabbed the doorknob and cracked the door open.
“I tried to open the door further and it wouldn’t open,” Williams said. “I looked down and there he was, laying right there.”
Now he wonders if perhaps the killer had gone to the wrong apartment. Stephens, he said, “didn’t have no enemies.”
Anyone with information in reference to this incident is urged to contact the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office and leave a message for the on call investigator or call Macon Regional Crime Stoppers at (877) 682-7463.