EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – The family of a teenager killed in Evansville’s 12th homicide of 2020 are breaking their silence for the first time with Eyewitness News.
Vanderburgh County Coroner Steve Lockyear confirmed 16-year-old Rylan Conway was identified as the victim of a shooting Sunday evening in the 1100 block of Powell Avenue.
“It seems like a very senseless loss for someone so young,” said Wade Conway, Rylan’s uncle.
The coroner says an autopsy on Conway took place Monday evening. The findings from the autopsy show Conway died from a single gunshot wound to the torso.
Conway was found in a bedroom with a gunshot wound to his stomach. He later died in the St. Vincent Hospital Emergency Room. Conway’s family says they are devastated.
“He was just your typical teenager 16-year-old,” said Conway.
911 calls released on Monday are shedding light on a frantic scene playing out on Powell Avenue Sunday night.
“Hello can I get an ambulance to 1145 East Powell please,” a caller is heard saying to dispatch.
“Okay hold on let me connect you to ambulance service…what’s going on there?” Dispatch replied.
“Somebody got shot, somebody got shot,” the caller said.
“What did you say about the gun in your hand?” Dispatch said.
“I picked the gun up off my dresser, I picked it up and it went off its a .38,” the caller said.
“it was accidental right?” Dispatch asked.
“Yes it was an accident,” said the caller.
Authorities say Eriyon Gibson, 19, was arrested and charged with reckless homicide in connection to the Sunday night shooting. Police say three people were in a bedroom when it happened.
Evansville Police say Gibson later changed his story and the gun was not on the dresser.
Gibson instead told investigators that Conway unloaded the gun letting the bullets hit the floor.
According to an EPD affidavit, Conway then gave the gun to Gibson – who pointed it at him and pulled the trigger several times – fatally striking Conway.
The Conway family is shaken and still left with many questions surrounding the incident, including if it was an accident.
“I want to know all the information before I would cast any judgement on anything like that,” said Conway.
The family says they are hopeful this will be a wake up call for Evansville amid ongoing gun violence.
“Just think about Rylan and his parents, what they are going through right now, it’s got to be really really tough,” said Conway.
After losing their loved one, the family says they are not giving up hope and are still looking for answers.
As for Gibson, he’s being held in the Vanderburgh County Detention Center without bond.
(This story was originally published on July 6, 2020)