A Wellston mother speaks to News 9’s Tiffany Liou over a week after her children were shot with a crossbow. One died; the other survived. She wants people to hear her late son’s story.
On October 21st around 6:00 p.m., Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies were called to a rural area in Wellston. Sheriff Charlie Dougherty said a 13-year-old boy, who has not been named, is responsible after shooting Austin and Ayden Almanza with a broadhead arrow. His charges in the case are still pending. The teen is being held in a juvenile detention center.
That Saturday, Elizabeth Conaway, the mother of the victims, dropped off her children at the 13-year-old’s house. They were longtime playmates. Later, Conaway got the call that her children were shot by a crossbow belonging to the other boy.
The arrow went through 10-year-old Austin’s stomach. 8-year-old Ayden was standing behind his big brother when the arrow followed through and hit him in the arm. Ayden will recover, but Austin bled out at the scene of the crime.
“My son said it was not an accident,” said Conaway. According to Ayden, the suspect was mad at them and intentionally shot the crossbow.
“When I tried to go to Austin, they wouldn’t let me go to him,” said Conaway. She said she screamed. She eventually sat in the back of the ambulance with Austin. “I just wanted him to wake up,” she cried, “I was just begging God. Please, not my baby.”
Conaway showed photos of Austin with a big smile in every picture. She said he had a bright future. That weekend, he was looking forward to the following Monday. “He had his first basketball game the following Monday and he was so excited,” she said. Conaway will never get to see her oldest son score a winning point. She said she loved the 10 years she had with him, but feels cheated that it was cut short.
Conaway remembers when she dropped Austin off that morning, he waved at her. “I waved back,” she said, “Keep smiling baby. Mama will see you again.”