Cheltenham High School senior killed in shooting that followed domestic dispute

The Cheltenham High School community is mourning the loss of a senior student who police say was killed in a domestic dispute turned shooting. 

Investigators say 18-year-old Elijah DeLoach was fatally shot by Kione Gary, 23, at a property on the 7900 block of Henry Avenue late Tuesday night.

Investigators believe Gary was involved in a domestic dispute with his girlfriend, who then called her sisters, who arrived at the apartment with two other men.

DeLoach’s mom told FOX 29 over the phone she doesn’t know who called her son to the apartment, but he just knew someone needed protection, and he jumped in to help.

Gary told police one of the men approached him in "a threatening manner" which caused him to fire one time, fatally striking DeLoach in the chest. 

Kione Gary, 23, is accused of fatally shooting 18-year-old Elijah Deloach during a confrontation at a Roxborough apartment building.

Through witness accounts and evidence collected at the crime scene, investigators discovered Gary opened fire just moments after the men entered the apartment. 

"There was no indication that Mr. Gary was assaulted by Mr. DeLoach or the other male," Inspector Ernest Ransom told reporters Thursday. 

Gary was charged with murder and several other offenses, including domestic violence charges.

Elijah DeLoach, an 18-year-old senior at Cheltenham High School, was shot and killed at an apartment building in Roxborough Tuesday night. 

"He was a fun kid, a bright light, who loved his family and friends deeply," DeLoach's mom said. "He was loyal and protective of the people he loved."

Cheltenham High School Principal, Jimmy D’Andrea, says he got the call about DeLoach’s death the morning of seniors last day of classes.

Thursday night is their senior prom, though DeLoach’s mother says that was not really his thing.

"He definitely would have been with his friends though," she said to FOX 29.

"He’s an awesome young man, you know had a quiet, reserved personality, awesome sense of humor and just a great all-around person," says D’Andrea. "At the end of the day we’re really focusing on remembering all the great things about him, he was so exciting about graduating, had a lot of ideas about the future."

The high school says they provided counseling for students and staff and those supports are on-going.

They plan to honor DeLoach at their graduation in just under two weeks and will consult with his parents on how best to do that.