The students at Ronald McNair High School in Atlanta, Georgia are still coming to terms with the death of a popular teacher. Roy McClendon-Thompson, 42, died during a police chase on Monday, April 8, 2019, after he killed his lover, identified as James Curtis Jones, 45, in a parking deck.
McClendon-Thompson taught social studies at McNair High School and was held in high esteem by students and staff. Police say that jealousy and accusations of cheating may have sparked an argument with the murder victim. The APD stated that two days before the shooting, Jones called the police to report that he was threatened by McClendon-Thompson. When police investigated the matter McClendon-Thompson, claimed he was the one threatened and police advised both men to cease communication with one another.
According to the WSB-TV, the complaint was dropped by police because of the conflicting accounts. When police responded to the shooting, McClendon-Thompson was identified as a suspect and they went to his home in the Atlanta suburb of Ellenwood, Georgia. Upon seeing the police had come for him, McClendon-Thompson fled the scene and a high-speed chase ensued. He was killed in a head-on collision with another vehicle.
Prior to the shooting, McClendon-Thompson was arrested by police on March 21, 2019, for embezzling from his church. The secretary at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Atlanta noticed that a significant amount of money was missing from church accounts. McClendon-Thompson served as chief financial officer for the church and it was found that he deposited $103,843.30 from the church into his personal account between November 2015 and April 2018. He bonded out of jail for $15,000 on March 23, 2019, and was due in court this Friday, April 12, 2019, to answer to those charges.
The principal of McNair High School, Dr. Loukisha Walker, released the following statement to the school community at the time of McClendon-Thompson’s death:
Dear McNair High School Parents:
It is with great sadness that we inform you that one of our teachers, Mr. Roy McClendon-Thompson, was killed in a car accident yesterday. To help our students and staff members deal with the sudden loss, we had grief counselors at school this morning. The Counselors facilitated individual, small group, and whole class sessions. The team of Grief Counselors will be on site tomorrow as well. We do not have any details about Mr. McClendon’s services at this time. We will provide details once the family provides the information. Let’s encourage one another and keep the family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.