While their hearts are filled with grief, the parents of a man who was killed Tuesday night smiled as they reflected on the actions of the devoted husband that preceded his death.
Kelly “Kelz” Jerod Anderson, 30, was walking home from dropping off his wife’s phone at her workplace when he was shot and killed around 10 p.m. on the 300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.
“He’d told her he made food and that she didn’t need to worry about anything when she got off work,” said the Rev. Kenneth Anderson, the 30-year-old man’s father and pastor at God of Deliverance Ministries. “He’d always tell me that I taught him how to love his wife and be a good provider. I told him I was very proud of him. Natasha was the love of his life and he showed it.”
The couple had been married several years and together a few years longer. Natasha Anderson is employed at Stretchline Industries on Goldleaf Street, where her husband previously worked as a machine operator and was set to restart Wednesday morning. Stretchline representatives said Kelly Anderson was a hard worker and the company is doing all they can to support the family.
Despite being born in New Jersey, the beloved son had lived in Rocky Mount for more than two decades.
It was here that he developed a reputation for being a classic gentlemen to all who knew him.
“He was always so kind to people,” his mother, Janice Anderson, said. “Kelly always was very kind and courteous. He was always opening doors for women, even though they might not have been used to it. He’d tell them, ‘That is what my mama taught me.’”
Frances “Mother Sunshine” Jordan said she would never forget the respectfulness and polite nature of the man she first met at his parent’s church. Robin Dunn also met Kelly Anderson at God of Deliverance, working with the then-teenager with a passion for drumming.
“We played music together for many years, and I helped groom him from being an animal on the drums to being a very skilled drummer,” Dunn said. “My head is too full to express how I felt about him, but he really was someone you’d be lucky to call ‘friend.’”
Janice Anderson said she recognized his rhythm from an early age as he’d bang on pots, slowly teaching himself the basics of drumming. The eldest of seven children, Keneen Anderson, recalls watching her brother play drums at church – particularly when he stole the show during one fast-tempo hymn.
“That is the memory that always comes back to my mind whenever I think of Kelly,” his sister said. “I think about him doing something he loved and had a true passion for.”
With well-groomed eyebrows framing his kind eyes, Janice Anderson said she’ll never forget her son’s ability to make people laugh. Memories of running to greet “Alvin and the Chipmunks” at Disney World and mimicking lines from the movie, “Elf” brought tears of joy to Kenneth Anderson’s eyes.
Janice and Kenneth Anderson, both of whom are faith leaders, said the outpouring of prayers has strengthened their hearts while they await answers from police.
Authorities reportedly received a call about shots fired at 10:17 p.m. and were on the scene within four minutes, but the 30-year-old already had died. The investigation is ongoing.
“I know God will bring an end to all this gun and gang violence,” Janice Anderson said. “Justice will be served because our young people will face judgment for destroying a life as if it didn’t mean anything.
“It has got to stop. These senseless acts have got to stop.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective A. Alzer at 972-1457 or Crime Stoppers at 977-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Text a tip to police at 274637 by beginning messages with RMPOL to direct the tip to the Rocky Mount Police Department and type up to 155 characters about the information.