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UPDATE: Family, friends remember former UTC wrestler shot and killed

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WHITWELL, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: TBI agents are investigating the death of a former wrestler at UTC. The shooting happened at a home on Mullins Cove Road in Whitwell on Friday.

Right now, the homeowner has not been charged.

Family members and friends of 33-year-old Matthew Keller said they have a lot of questions about what happened. As they wait for authorities to finish their investigation, they said they want to remember Matt for who he was and not the shooting that cut his life short.

For those who knew him, Matt Keller was known as a natural leader and for inspiring people. Beyond that, he could bring them together.

"He impacted a lot of lives and he was happy in his life, I think," Margie Keller, his mother said.

Keller's mother said he was a four time state champ wrestler while at Bradley Central High School. He continued wrestling in college and later graduated from UTC.

In the last few years, he became a yoga instructor after serving time in federal prison on drug charges.

"Anything that Matt would do, he was in it 100%," Dustin Blewett, a friend said.

The Keller family's lives changed on Friday.

"Of course, the main question is just why. Still why?," Keller said.

The TBI told Channel 3 a Marion County homeowner went to check on a noise and found Keller and his girlfriend, 24-year-old Ashley Boss, fighting.

Authorities said Keller assaulted the homeowner twice who later shot and killed him.

"Hopefully people hold their judgments until all of the facts are released because that wasn't Matt and there's another story because there was another person there," Keller said.

On Saturday, the homeowner said he begged the couple to leave, but they wouldn't. The Marion County Sheriff said the couple was camping nearby and somehow ended up on the property.

The homeowner could not be reached for further comment on Monday.

"My heart breaks to hear what the shooter is actually saying right now because that's not what any of us know of Matt," David Keller, his father said.

One of Keller's favorite places was the Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center.

He wanted to combine yoga, arts, and music there for an event later this month. That was one of Keller's dreams.

"Please remember the real Matt," Keller said.

Keller's family said a celebration of life will be held later this month at Reflection Riding.

It will be up to Marion County's District Attorney-General, Mike Taylor, on whether the homeowner will face any charges.

An affidavit obtained by Channel 3 said that the deputy found out that Boss had been under the influence of hallucinogenic mushrooms and had been drinking. She's charged with public intoxication, resisting arrest, reckless endangerment, and trespassing.

Marion County jail officials said Boss posted a $7,500 bail and will be in court on October 12. Boss could not be reached for comment on Monday.

The Keller family is related to Joe Keller who went missing in Colorado. His remains were later found by Conejos County authorities in the Conejos Canyon.

"At the time, you could never relate to their feelings of losing a child and now here we are," Margie Keller, Matt's mother said.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.


TBI agents and the Marion County Sheriff's Office are investigating a shooting Friday night in Whitwell that left a Chattanooga man dead.

It happened at a home on Mullins Cove Road shortly after 11pm.

A TBI spokesperson says a man heard a noise and found two strangers, a man and woman, fighting outside his home. The spokesperson says the man started assaulting the homeowner when he came outside to check on things.

Marion County Sheriff Bo Burnett says the man and woman were 33-year-old Matthew L. Keller and his girlfriend Ashley Boss.

Sheriff Burnett says the unidentified homeowner had a .25 caliber handgun he fired at least once during the fight before it was knocked out of his hands by Keller. Ashley Boss picked up the gun and fired one round from it. The deputy found that gun on the deck with a spend round stuck in the handgun. The Sheriff says the homeowner ran inside his home and returned with a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun he used to shoot and kill Keller as Keller began assaulting him again.

It's not exactly clear how the couple ended up on the homeowner's property, but Sheriff Burnett says they were camping nearby.

Channel 3 spoke with the homeowner off camera and he said he begged the couple to leave, but they wouldn't. He also said he was scared and fired a warning shot too.

Keller's body has been sent to Nashville for an autopsy.

Sheriff Burnett says Ashley Boss was interviewed by TBI agents Saturday.

The homeowner has not been charged.

Channel 3 reached out to the families of Matthew Keller and Ashley Boss about the situation, but no one responded on Saturday. 

The investigation is ongoing.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.

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