Fort Benning soldier killed during shooting on a state road outside base

Marcus Theodore Wiggins (left) and Eddie Clayton were arrested in connection to the shooting of two individuals in Columbus, GA.

The murder of a Fort Benning soldier at a Columbus intersection is now being looked at as one of two potentially related shootings that took place in the Georgia Army town on Sunday.

Police now say that two suspects -identified as Eddie Clayton and Marcus Theodore Wiggins- were arrested in connection to the shooting of two individuals over a short period of time- including 26-year-old Specialist Donald Matthews of the 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment.

Wiggins was extradited to Columbus and placed in the Muscogee County Jail.

Matthews- who was reportedly shot in the early hours of the morning- joined the Army in May of 2012 and had one Afghanistan deployment under his belt.

According to the Ledger-Enquirer, Matthews was only one of two victims- 32-year-old Robert Lockhart also fell to gunfire in relation to the criminal duo.

Columbus Police Lieutenant Ralph Dowe said Wiggins and Matthews got into an altercation at a local TGI Friday’s.

“The victim and the suspect both ended up leaving in two different cars,” Dowe said. “They ended up meeting again at River Road and Veterans, where the shooting took place.”

Matthews was rushed to the hospital by a private vehicle just before 2 in the morning, Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said. The Fort Benning soldier was pronounced dead of multiple gunshot wounds at 6:36 AM.

The two homicides now tally the total number of 2017 murders in Columbus to twenty.


  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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