Columbus' deadly violence continues: Three killed in six hours over weekend

Three more dead, two more who were shot in their car, and could not "drive off" when attacked, as OSHP Capt. John Born suggests citizens should do in lieu of the right to bear ares for self-defense in a personal vehicle. Columbus homicides far out-pacing last year.

August 24, 2003
Columbus Dispatch

Hilltop stabbing, 2 shootings on North and Far East sides raise homicide tally to 77

At midday yesterday, the ground was still damp around Robert May’s front porch, where hours earlier he had hosed away the blood of his best friend.

Gregory C. Allman, 27, was stabbed several times in the chest just outside the front door of May’s Hilltop home. A group of men had chased Allman from a bar around the corner and apparently caught up with him on the porch.

"He’d gotten into something with some guys at the bar, I don’t know what," May said. "He ran here as a safe haven. He was banging on the door, yelling ‘Please, somebody, help me!’ "

Allman died, as did two other men, during a bloody six-hour stretch between Friday night and yesterday morning, continuing what has been a year of deadly violence in Columbus.

Two shootings and a stabbing on the North, West and Far East sides brought to 77 the number of homicides in Columbus so far this year.

Unfortunately, "this isn’t the first time this summer we’ve had three homicides overnight," Franklin County Coroner Brad Lewis said.

"We’re now way ahead of where we were last year."

Last year, 81 people were killed.

Click on the "Read More..." link below for more.

The deadly night began shortly after 10 on Friday when police, summoned to an address on Joyce Avenue on the North Side, discovered the body of Delbert McCullough near a tree in the yard.

The investigation into the shooting death of the 26-year-old continues. No arrests have been made.

About 2:30 a.m., police were called about a "large fight" in front of a house on S. Warren Avenue in the Hilltop.

Allman, stabbed several times in the chest, was taken to Mount Carmel West where he later died.

Police arrested Jon M. Hillyer, 25, of 543 Reinhard Ave., in connection with the killing. Hillyer was in the Franklin County jail last night.

Less than an hour later, homicide detectives were called out again.

Police said Charles S. Baker, 33, and James Coran, 29, were sitting in a car parked along Esquire Drive on the Far East Side when two men approached, one of them carrying a gun.

The man fired several shots into the vehicle, striking both Baker and Coran.

The wounded men were taken to Grant Medical Center, where Baker died and Coran was in serious condition. Police are still investigating that case.

May, Allman’s friend, said the number of homicides this year has not gone unnoticed.

In the three years he’s lived there, his own neighborhood has become increasingly unsafe.

"I gotta get outta here," he said. "Practically every night, trouble from the bars down the street spills over into my yard."

He never expected his friend of 15 years would become a victim.

May said Allman had stopped by the house before going to Jay’s Sports Bar around the corner, as he did many weekends.

"He’d come to ask me to go with him. I didn’t feel like it," May said.

The next time May saw his friend, he was in the corner of his front porch, unrecognizable for all the blood.

The suspects were fleeing by the time May reached the front door. He’s unsure how many there were. He caught one and held him until police arrived.

He said Allman, who had just moved to Valleyview from the Short North, was a good guy who enjoyed the night life.

"I can’t think of anyone who’d have anything bad to say about him," he said. "He and his girlfriend were about to have a baby. I think she’s about seven or eight months pregnant."

Click here to read the story in the Columbus Dispatch (subscription site - paid access only).

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