Posted Jan. 23, 2008 – A 36-year-old African-American man, who was once Atlanta ’s “Teacher of the Year,” was shot to death Sunday in a Florida parking lot.
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Antonio Coleman, who was in Florida for an educational conference when he was killed, The St. Petersburg Times reported. The newspaper said Coleman and his brother had planned to go to a sports bar Saturday night to watch the Roy Jones vs. Felix Trinidad fight, and that he standing in a parking lot near the club when a barroom brawl spilled outside.
"Some boy started shooting rapidly," Coleman's father-in-law, Leroy Hughes, told the Times. "He got hit in the back of the head. He was hit by a stray bullet. That's what we heard from the police."
Sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter told Tampa Bay Online that investigators don't believe the bullet was intended for Coleman.
"We just believe he happened to be in the parking lot at the time," Carter said. "Apparently there had been an exchange of words among some other individuals inside the place, and this might have been a continuation of that."
Coleman, a father of three, taught fourth-graders at Parkside Elementary School before departing in December to take a new job with Promethean, a company that provides technological equipment for classrooms, according to the Times. The conference in Florida was for his new position.
In 2004, while teaching at Burgess Elementary School , that he was named Atlanta 's “Elementary Teacher of the Year.”