NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - At 13 years old, Lynell Reynolds is accused of two separate shootings and several other crimes, including armed robbery. His family, though, says the teen has a past that most couldn’t imagine.
“He has been through a lot. He saw his momma get killed. He saw his sister get killed. He saw his brother get killed. My brother got shot in the head and still has a bullet in his head, and I’ve been having custody of Lynell ever since,” said Wanda Solomon.
Solomon is Reynolds’ aunt and legal guardian. She said when Reynolds was just 5, he witnessed his uncle murder his older brother and sister and then kill himself.
Two years later, Solomon said Reynolds witnessed his mother’s killing and his father being shot in the head.
“Lynell’s been going through a lot. I have to go to school for him all the time. He’s very smart. He’s sweet. That’s why this is like, to me, a separate life he lives,” Solomon said.
Solomon said the trouble started when Reynolds was about 8 years old. She said he was stealing cars and breaking into schools, but the problems began to escalate.
Now at 13, Reynolds is at the Youth Study Center in New Orleans awaiting trial. He’s accused of shooting a 16 year old in the leg, and in a separate incident, police said Reynolds shot a 21 year old man in the back during an armed robbery. That man is now paralyzed from the waist down.
Solomon didn’t show up for Reynolds’ court hearing Tuesday (May 7), but she said it doesn’t mean the 13 year old isn’t loved.
“I didn’t want to stand there and look at that (shooting victim) in a wheelchair. It was like, I don’t want to say embarrassing, but it kind of was because I can’t believe that Lynell hurt somebody like that, or that you live with somebody that could be capable of this,” Solomon said.
Lynell Reynolds pleaded not guilty Tuesday in connection with the shootings. His trials will be in June and September, and Solomon said the family will be there.