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Anne Arundel County

‘He was so full of love’: Crofton shooting victim remembered as a backflipping ‘ball of sunshine’

Britrain Marcelus Gray was a “firecracker” and a “ball of sunshine,” a caring person who knew how to make others smile, his girlfriend said following the 23-year-old Odenton resident’s death by homicide last week.

Gray was killed Friday while working the late shift at a McDonald’s in Crofton, where police said they found him dead from apparent gunshot wounds at about 4:45 a.m. Preliminarily, police believe the shooting was targeted, and no suspects have been arrested.

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“It all feels like a dream,” said Jami Bennett, who was Gray’s girlfriend and best friend of six years. Searching for answers alongside Gray’s family, Bennett doesn’t believe her boyfriend was targeted through any sort of gang involvement, as he was not a violent person.

“I just don’t understand how someone would do this,” she said.

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The two had become lovers after meeting on the walk home from Bowie High School, where they attended together. She lauded his loving attitude and unwavering dedication to his family.

“He was just different,” Bennett said. “He was so full of love.”

Gray, who was known by his nickname, “Train,” was smiling “24/7,” she said, and nobody could make her laugh like he could.

“He liked dumb humor, like, just so dumb that you have to laugh,” she said.

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While the family was struggling with the deaths of two of Gray’s older brothers this year, “he showed us that the world was a good place” with his positive attitude, Bennett said, noting that he was always willing to help out his family when they were in need, as well as others.

Bennett recalled that during a game of basketball at her home, she told him about her neighbor, a middle school boy who was being bullied.

“He walked right to his door and asked him to play with us,” she said. Later on, the boy would come over to her doorstep asking where Gray was.

Gray played club basketball and was on Bowie High’s step-dancing team, encouraged to join because of his self-taught backflip skills. He graduated in 2018 and bought his first car last year.

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He worked at the McDonald’s location along with two of his sisters and his nephew. Working the late shift, he would sleep during the day, go on walks with his girlfriend and enjoy his hobbies, playing video games with his friends and making music.

Jami Bennett’s sister, Kami, organized a fundraiser to help Gray’s family pay for his funeral expenses. By Monday evening, they had raised more than $9,000 of their $20,000 goal. She said her sister’s boyfriend was “famous for bringing smiles to everyone’s faces through effortlessness entertainment and energetic backflips.”

Police encourage those with information on the homicide to call the Anne Arundel County Homicide Unit at 410-222-4731. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the Anne Arundel County Police Tip Line at 410-222-4700, Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP, submit a tip through the P3Tips APP, or submit by web at www.metrocrimestoppers.org.


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