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2 Decatur men face attempted murder charges in August 2017 shooting

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Ellzey Rice

Thomas U. Ellzey, left, and Deantae M. Rice

DECATUR — Two Decatur men wanted for an attempted murder that happened almost exactly a year ago have been arrested, police said.

Sworn Decatur police affidavits say that Thomas U. Ellzey, 26, had fired seven shots at his victim and wounded him twice on Aug. 7, 2017. Ellzey was arrested Friday afternoon. The affidavits said he was a passenger in an SUV driven by 31-year-old Deantae M. Rice, who was arrested Saturday afternoon.

The affidavits do not explain the reason for the time delay in the arrests, and police were not immediately available to provide details Monday afternoon.

Both men were jailed on preliminary charges of attempted murder, according to the documents. All preliminary charges are subject to review by the Macon County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Writing in the affidavits, Decatur police officer James Knierim said the victim told police he believed the shooting, which left him with two bullets in the abdomen, had been a revenge attack.

Knierim said the victim was shot as he rode his motorized scooter in the 700 block of West Decatur Street just after 1:30 p.m. and he recognized the gunman as Ellzey.

“He advised he looked directly at Thomas and he knows him because he was accused of shooting Thomas in 2015,” Knierim said. “He (the victim) was arrested and (later) found not guilty ... He said since that time Thomas has been out to kill him.”

Knierim said Ellzey was picked out of a photo lineup by the victim, who had been interviewed in his hospital bed. Knierim said other eye-witnesses had identified Rice as the driver of the van.

“Witnesses stated Deantae was heard saying ‘shoot him,’” Knierim added. “That is when Thomas shot (the victim) out the passenger window of the vehicle. Rice then sped off ...”

Rice was free Monday evening after posting $150,000 bond, but Ellzey remained in the Macon County Jail in lieu of posting bond set at $1 million.

Photos: 2018 mug shots from the Herald & Review

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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