COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two teenage boys and a 21-year-old man have been charged with aggravated murder in the death of a 24-year-old man in northeast Columbus last month.
On the night of June 25, Neal Smith was fatally shot not long after walking out of a local market on Argyle Drive where he just cashed his check, according to his grandmother, Shirley Leaks.
Days after the shooting, police released surveillance photos hoping to identify the three suspects involved.
Columbus Police Detective Terry Kelley said thanks to the public’s help, they identified 16-year-old Taywaun Gavin, 17-year-old Jebrelle McClendon and 21-year-old Ke’anu Logan as the suspects in the shooting.
Smith’s grandmother, Shirley Leaks, said he walked down the street to a nearby market to cash his paycheck. Police said the three suspects saw the cash, followed Smith and decided to rob him.
Two of the suspects got out of the vehicle near Argyle Drive and Woodland Avenue. Witnesses said Smith yelled “just take it!” before he was shot. The two suspects got back into the vehicle and traveled south on Woodland Avenue.
“He told them to take the money, senseless. I know the world is wicked, with no conscience,” Leaks said.
Police said Smith was shot 13 times.
“What we can determine that it was a robbery where Neal tried to do what he was told to do and give them the money and run for his own safety. They shot him anyway,” Kelley said.
The three suspects have been located and arrested, according to Columbus police.
A woman, who police said was an uninvolved bystander, was also struck by gunfire and survived.