Heavyweight murdered in presence of family driving to Christmas Eve meal

Danny Kelly Jr Adam Kownacki heavyweight

Stephanie Trapp

Heavyweight boxer Danny Roosevelt Kelly, Jr. – known as ‘Smooth’ – was murdered in the presence of his family when driving to dinner on Christmas Eve.

In one of the most shocking stories emerging over the holidays, Kelly was shot and killed in the front seat of his SUV.

Maryland Police are offering a reward of $25,000 after what can only get described as a drive-by of the most horrendous nature.

Kelly was in his car traveling with his wife and three children when the perpetrator pulled up beside his vehicle and opened fire.

The 30-year-old’s family witnessed the entire incident.

Police are certainly asking for help to solve this most heinous of crimes.

“We are seeking the community’s assistance in connection with the fatal shooting of 30-year-old Danny Kelly Jr. on Christmas Eve. He and his family were heading to a holiday dinner at the time of the shooting.

“A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case,” they said.

Danny Kelly Heavyweight SUV
NBC-4 TV – Washington

Police released further details on the investigation.

“On December 24, 2021, at approximately 4:40 pm, patrol officers were called to the 4400 block of St. Barnabas Road.

“They discovered Kelly unresponsive in the driver’s seat of an SUV suffering from gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead a short time later at a hospital.

“The preliminary investigation revealed Kelly, his girlfriend, and his three children were heading northbound on St. Barnabas Road.

“Preliminarily, it appears the suspect’s vehicle pulled up next to Kelly’s SUV, and someone inside opened fire.

“No one else in Kelly’s SUV was injured.

“At this time, detectives are looking into whether this was possible road rage. Detectives are working on identifying the suspect and the suspect vehicle.”

Acting Major David Blazer of the Major Crimes Division added: “This is an absolutely heartbreaking loss for Mr. Kelly’s family and friends.

“He is not home with his loved ones today on Christmas who are now mourning his loss instead of celebrating the holiday.

“St. Barnabas Road is a heavily-traveled roadway. If any other drivers saw anything there on Christmas Eve or may have information that could help, please call us.

“In addition, you can stay anonymous. We are committed to providing answers to his family.”


Kelly turned professional in the ring nine years ago. He fought the likes of Adam Kownacki on a Deontay Wilder undercard in 2016 and heavyweight contender Stephan Shaw.

He last competed in 2019 when defeating Nick Kisner in an upset win. Kelly pushed his record to 10-3-1 before the pandemic.

Furthermore, if anyone has information, please call detectives at 301-516-2512. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), or go online at www.pgcrimesolvers.com, or use the “P3 Tips” mobile app (search “P3 Tips” in the Apple Store or Google Play to download the app onto your mobile device.) Please reference case number 21-0059930.