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‘Beyond Disturbing’: Authorities Say 13-Year-Old Pulled Trigger, 15-Year-Old Drove Getaway Car in Music-Motivated Murder of 19-Year-Old

Carmello Wells during a court hearing Friday, via KETV screenshot

Carmello Wells appeared in court on Friday. (Image via a KETV screenshot.)

Two Nebraska teens have been arrested for allegedly murdering a 19-year-old in Omaha over what the victim reportedly said in a rap verse. The two boys, ages 13 and 15, were charged with one count each of first-degree murder, use of a weapon (gun) to commit a felony, and criminal conspiracy in the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Alon Reed, authorities announced.

Jail records cited by the local newspaper name Carmello Wells as the 15-year-old boy charged in the case. He is being charged as an adult; the younger boy is being charged as a juvenile because state law requires all defendants under the age of 14 to be charged through the juvenile criminal justice system.

According to a press release from the Omaha Police Department, homicide investigators on Aug. 30 responded to an emergency call at a home located in the 5000 block of Curtis Avenue regarding a possible shooting. Upon arriving at the scene, first responders found an unresponsive Reed who appeared to have sustained several gunshot wounds. Omaha Fire Department medics declared the teen dead at the scene.

Authorities say that the younger of the two teens was the one who actually pulled the trigger. Wells allegedly drove the getaway car.

Wells made his initial court appearance on Friday where prosecutors provided a detailed description of what they believe happened on the day of the fatal shooting, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

According to the report, Wells and the younger teen began planning to murder Reed after the victim filmed a rap video in the wake of another young man’s death. On the morning of Aug. 30, the two boys reportedly went to Omaha North High School where prosecutors say they checked to see if Reed’s sister was in school.

Prior to entering the school, surveillance video from the parking lot reportedly showed the 13-year-old giving Wells a firearm to hold as the younger boy entered the school for a brief period of time. When the younger teen returned, Wells reportedly gave him back the gun. Wells then reportedly drove the pair to Reed’s home on Curtis Avenue in a stolen car.

“At Reed’s house, a gunman burst through the door asking where Reed was, prosecutors say. Reed’s mother, trying to protect her son, denied that he was at the house. The gunman started searching the split-level when Reed emerged from a bedroom,” the World-Herald report states. “Reed’s mother ran out of the house and Reed tried to escape. As Reed’s mother was escaping, she heard multiple gunshots. The gunman then ran past her. Reed’s mother gave chase, but the gunman disappeared into a wooded area north of Sorensen Parkway. She returned home to find her son dying inside.”

The 13-year-old is reportedly accused of shooting Reed nine times.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine on Friday reportedly told the newspaper that the allegations were difficult to comprehend against two boys so young.

“It’s certainly very troubling when you have people of that age involved in very violent acts — in fact the most violent act you can commit. We’re alleging that this (13-year-old) was the shooter,” Kleine reportedly said, adding that the facts of the case were “beyond disturbing.”

Authorities in Dallas, Texas, on Oct. 18 arrested Wells on an unrelated charge, per the World-Herald. He was then extradited back to Nebraska on Wednesday. The 13-year-old was also already in detention at the Douglas County Youth Center on an unrelated charge when he was arrested and charged with killing Reed.

[image via KETV screenshot]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.