Ada man murdered two days before 24th birthday

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HUGHES COUNTY, Okla. (KXII) - 24-year-old Tyler Melton of Ada was shot and killed Thursday night after an argument went wrong, just two days before his birthday.

Sunday, Tyler’s family got together to honor his memory on what would’ve been his 24 birthday.

"It struck him in the back of the neck, so my son was either walking away or running away,”” said Gary Melton, Tyler’s father.

Ada police officers said it happened near the intersection of West 6th Street and Hope Avenue around 8:45 p.m.

"He came to my house around seven and left around 8 o'clock,” said Haley Mathes, Tyler’s former girlfriend and mother to two girls.

Haley Mathes said she was with Tyler the night he died, and Tyler surprise their daughters, 2-year-old Gracie and 3-year-old Emma.

"He insisted that I take a picture of him and the girls before he left, and he told me and the girls that he loved us,” said Mathes.

34-year-old Jerry Gardner of California was charged and arrested Saturday night in Hughes County.

Gardner is in the Pontotoc County jail for first degree murder.

The Melton family said the two were acquaintances

Gary said Tyler enjoyed the outdoors, was always laughing and was the type of man to help anyone in anyway he could.

"That's who he was. I love him, and I'm going to miss him.”