Crime

Son of former school board member found slain at Castlegate apartments, coroner says

benw@ledger-enquirer.com

The son of a former Muscogee County School Board member was found shot to death at Castlegate Windsor Park apartments on Bridgewater Road, the Muscogee County Coroner’s Office said Friday.

John Wells Jr. , 55, was pronounced dead at 2:25 a.m. of a gunshot wound at the 3700 Bridgewater Road apartment in the C building, according to Deputy Coroner Elizabeth Allison . His body will be transported to the crime lab in Decatur for an autopsy.

Before the fatal shooting, police said officers were called to the apartment complex at 10:50 p.m. Thursday on a domestic dispute and Wells was the victim. Police were called again at 12:08 a.m. to check on a dead person.

Police said Wells was engaged in some type of domestic dispute with another man identified as Alstin Martin, 25, at the apartment before an exchange of gunfire erupted. Wells and Alstin were suffering from gunshot wounds. Martin was transported to Piedmont Columbus Regional’s midtown campus for treatment where he is expected to survive, police said.

Wells is the son of former school board member John Wells who served 28 years before he was defeated by John Thomas in 2014.

The father said he learned about the death after he was contacted by the coroner and asked to describe his son. “That was him,” the former board member said. “I don’t have any details or anything like that. It’s just a tragic incident. I don’t know. The world is crazy, unbelievable.”

The father said the family is trying to wrap their arms around the situation and get together. “We were all a good, loving family,” he said of his son and children. “He was always texting me pictures of him and his grandkids. They were all just a lot of fun. It’s just a tragic situation we are trying to work through.”

His son was divorced but had four children and three grandchildren, the father said.

The homicide is the fourth in Columbus this year. It follows the Feb. 1 shooting of Travis McDaniel who was visiting his daughter’s home at 2315 10th St, in East Wynnton.

Anyone with any information in the Wells shooting should contact Detective Robert Nicholas at 706-225-4363 or e-mail at robertnicholas@columbusga.org.

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