Stockbridge mourns high school senior; person of interest sought

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Stockbridge High School is mourning the loss of Jesse Thomas, senior and sports star.

Sgt. Danny Gibbs of the Henry County Police Department said officers responded to a “trouble unknown” call May 13 at about 1:40 a.m. in Genelle Court in unincorporated McDonough.

“Upon arrival, they found an empty house with blood around the front doorway and the driveway,” he said. “Officers were able to make entry through an unlocked rear door.”

They confirmed the house was empty and found more blood inside, Gibbs said.

“They later received a call that Jesse Thomas had suffered a gunshot wound and died at (Piedmont Henry Hospital),” he said.

There had been a house party at the residence, so investigators began to locate and interview witnesses, Gibbs said.

“This is still happening,” he said. “We have a person of interest that we are trying to locate and interview.”

Gibbs said Dexter Deshawn Covington, 19, is that person of interest.

He is 5-10 and 135 pounds.

Covington was last seen driving a black 2014 Chevrolet Camaro with Georgia tag RCA2611 in the McDonough area.

Anyone with information on Covington’s whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Steven Rotella at 770-288-8269 or srotella@co.henry.ga.us, and refer to case No. 17-008743.

Witnesses are asked to use caution if the individual is seen.

Henry County Schools spokesman J.D. Hardin issued this statement:

“Our condolences go out to this student’s family during this very difficult time,” he said. “It is our hope that law enforcement is able to quickly find those responsible for this tragedy.”

Hardin said extra counselors will be at school today to meet with students and staff members.

Thomas was the Henry Neighbor athlete of the week in the Jan. 12 edition.

Head basketball coach Rodney Latham said at the time Thomas was a “very energetic and diligent player, a team leader and one who would do anything asked of him on the court.”

Gibbs said as updates on the homicide investigation come in, he will send them out.

Neighbor News Editor Bill Baldowski contributed to this report.

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