Temple Hills

Coach Remembers Boxer Killed in Front of His Children on Christmas Eve in Temple Hills

Danny Kelly, known as “Smooth” in the ring, went 10-3-1 in a career that spanned seven years. His last fight was in 2019, but according to his coach, his career wasn’t over.

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Police in Prince George’s County are asking for the public’s help solving the killing of professional boxer Danny Kelly, who was shot to death in front of his girlfriend and three young children on Christmas Eve. 

Investigators believe the motive may have been road rage, but so far there’s been no description of what led up to the assault.

Police said Kelly, his children and his girlfriend were on St. Barnabas Road in Temple Hills, Maryland, heading to a family dinner, when someone pulled up next to his black pickup truck and opened fire. 

Kelly, 30, was the only one hit. He was shot multiple times and pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

“This is Christmas Eve, a lot of traffic out here, so there is somebody out here who saw something that might give us a clue to how to bring a resolution to this particular case,” Sgt. Lamar Robinson told reporters at the scene. 

Three days later, authorities are still looking for answers.

Kelly, known as “Smooth” in the ring, went 10-3-1 in a career that spanned seven years. His last fight was in 2019, a match he won at Maryland Live. But according to his coach, Daryl Brown, his career wasn’t over. Kelly was in training for his next bout when he was killed, Brown said.

“We had our ups and downs in boxing. You know, sometimes you be on the shelf for a little while, so we hadn’t fought in about two years, but we was looking to get jump-started in the new year,” Brown said. 

He and Kelly met at a recreation center in Southeast D.C. when Kelly was just 16 years old.

“We’ve been through a lot together,” Brown said. “I love him like a son.”

Brown said he dropped the phone when he heard the news.

“I ran away from the phone. I didn’t want to hear it,” he said. “I came back to the phone and I said, ‘Please tell me it’s not true.’ She said it was true. She said, ‘Daryl, he’s gone.’” 

There has been a significant increase in homicides in Prince George’s County this year. So far, 132 people have been killed, compared to 92 murders at this same time last year.

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