As the woman heard her worst fear realized — her 18-year-old son was lying dead in an alley off Ellsworth Avenue in Driving Park — she walked away weeping.
Another son, who stood only waist-high on his mother, reached up and began stroking her back in an attempt to soothe her.
But little could calm her or other family members who arrived at the scene Wednesday of the city of Columbus' latest homicide.
Police were called to the 1000 block of Ellsworth Avenue around 11 a.m. after a person reported seeing what they thought was a body in the alley. Paramedics pronounced Nelson Conley Jr., of South Linden, dead at the scene at 11:05 a.m.
Sgt. Joe Albert said a preliminary investigation indicated the shooting appeared to have taken place nearby on Miller Avenue and Conley ran down the alley before collapsing.
18-year-old killed in Driving Park over holiday weekend identified
Just blocks away from the scene where Conley was found dead, a light pole wrapped in tinsel stood out. The pole, located on the 900 block of Lilley Avenue, marked the place where Columbus police found 18-year-old Garrett Richardson fatally shot over the weekend.
Richardson, of the South Side, was found around 2:50 a.m. Saturday in an alley off of the 900 block of Lilley Avenue. Police did not receive any 911 calls about a shooting and located Richardson while on patrol in the area, according to records received by The Dispatch.
Richardson was identified Wednesday morning by Columbus police homicide detectives.
No suspects have been publicly identified in either Driving Park homicide and it is not yet known if the cases are connected.
Police searching for three suspects in NE Side robbery-homicide
Homicide detectives have identified three suspects, including two teenagers, being sought in connection with a June 25 robbery-turned-homicide on the city’s Northeast Side.
Detectives have filed warrants charging Ke'Anu Logan, 21, Jebrelle McClendon, 17 and Taywaun Gavin,16, with aggravated murder for the shooting death of 24-year-old Neal Smith. As of early Tuesday night, none of them were in custody.
The suspects were identified with help from the public, said detectives, who released photographs taken from security footage of people they said were suspects in the homicide.
Around 10:10 p.m. on June 25, Smith made a cash purchase at a market on the 2000 block of Arygle Drive on the city's Northeast Side.
Surveillance video shows three men "closely watching" Smith as he receives his change, detectives said. Smith then left the market and was followed by the three men, who were in a car believed to be a Chevy Malibu with damage to the rear passenger side.
As Smith approached the intersection of Argyle Drive and Woodland Avenue, two of the three men got out of the car and approached Smith. Witnesses told police they heard Smith yell, "Just take it." That was followed "almost immediately" by gunfire.
Smith attempted to run after being shot, but he collapsed a short distance later. A 34-year-old woman who was in the area but had nothing to do with the incident also was struck by gunfire. She also ran a short distance before collapsing.
The two men ran back to their car, which drove off southbound on Woodland Avenue.
Smith was taken by medics to Ohio State University East Hospital in critical condition, where he was pronounced dead at 10:58 p.m. His death was the city's 61st homicide in Columbus this year.
Homicide database: Here's where homicides have occurred in Columbus since 2017
Detectives do not believe Smith knew the men who robbed and shot him.
Detectives believe Smith was targeted for a robbery because he had cash. One of the suspects has several distinctive tattoos, including what appeared to be a spiderweb on his left hand.
Two arrests made in shooting outside North Linden market
Columbus police also announced two men have been arrested in connection with a fatal shooting June 30 outside a North Linden market.
Shandale Brown, 23, of South Linden, and Ayub Issack, 20, of North Linden, were arrested Tuesday and charged in connection with the death of 46-year-old William Hinson, police said.
Around 11 p.m. on June 30, detectives say Hinson left the McGuffey Market, located at 1066 E. Hudson St., in North Linden. He became involved in an altercation in the parking lot with two people, later identified as Issack and Brown.
Detectives allege in court documents that Issack fired into Hinson's vehicle, striking him. Hinson apparently drove from the scene and was found fatally shot inside his vehicle, which had crashed a few minutes later into a utility pole on East Hudson Street .
Brown and Issack were taken to the Franklin County jail and are being held on murder charges, according to court records.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of any of the homicides — including the three suspects wanted in Smith's homicide — is asked to call 911, the Columbus police Homicide Unit at (614) 645-4730 or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers by calling 614-461-TIPS, using the free P3 Tips mobile application or provide information online at www.stopcrime.org.
Cole Behrens is a reporter at The Columbus Dispatch covering public safety and breaking news. You can reach him at CBehrens@dispatch.com or find him on Twitter at
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Two teens among 3 suspects in June robbery-homicide, city police say