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Out of control teens on a deadly rampage, arrested

IKE MGBATOGU | 7/30/2013, 6:22 p.m.
It was a huge relief for law enforcement and citizens, and Maya Foster, Simmond’s mother, as well, that the two ...
Devonere Simmonds, 17, and Nathaniel Brunner, 18.

COLUMBUS – For Devonere Simmonds, 17, and Nathaniel Brunner, 18, the flight from law enforcement after a week of violent rampage that took them from Columbus to Dayton is all over.

Both fugitives, from the south side of Columbus, eluded authority for days after reportedly committing a wave of brutal killings in Columbus before taking off for Dayton where they were apprehended sleeping in a car by the police there last Saturday.

Officials said they have friends and family there.

It was a huge relief for law enforcement and citizens, and Maya Foster, Simmond’s mother, as well, that the two vicious bandits have been appended. But sadly, it came after a week-long orgy of brutal violence and barbaric indulgence, in which Simmonds and Brunner demonstrated their brazen willingness to kill. It’s the kind of bone-chilling and coldhearted disregard for human life that’s painfully hard to fathom.

Both suspects were involved in enough violent incidents that sooner or later their luck would run out. And it did, starting with the point blank shooting death of Imran Ashgar, 34, at the Convenient Plus Food Mart located at 1475 E. Livingston Avenue, on the South Side of the city. That incident, which happened on July 24 at 11 p.m., set off the manhunt for their arrest.

“There was nothing going on in that carryout other than he was going to shoot the clerk,” said Sgt. Schlaback, noting that the surveillance camera indicated that the two robbers did not take anything from the store.

That’s true. What Simmonds took wasn’t a thing. It was a life.

Make that… potentially two lives, maybe more, because Simmonds and Brunner, believe it or not, reportedly killed someone else the day before the carryout shooting. That incident was reported by his mother who told the police her son called to tell her he just killed someone, in an incident that played out at 777 Lilley Avenue, near a vacant house.

Quinten Ellis-John Prater, 22, was the victim in that shooting where James E. Norvet III suffered severe wounds.

That same week, at about 7 a.m. on Thursday, a young man by the name Lamont Frazier was found dead near the convenient store where Simmonds and Brunner had already killed someone. Frazier was 17 years old. Simons and Brunner are the prime suspects in that shooting.

With enough carnage unleashed in Columbus, Simmonds and Brunner then took their vicious rampage to Dayton, where a law enforcement snafu proved very costly in terms of human life. It turns out these two criminals would have been stopped in their tracks had State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeff Shane arrested them as opposed to giving them a courtesy ride to TravelCenters of America truck stop.

Apparently, Shane saw the two thieves walking on the highway by I-70 exit, picked them up and dropped them off at the truck stop, which was okay, but the problem was that he failed to search them for weapons or drugs before placing them in his cruiser as he was required to do by patrol law.

Reportedly, Shane didn’t even run their names through the state law-enforcement database to make sure they are clean, a catastrophic gaffe that patrol spokeswoman Lt. Anne Ralston finds disturbingly stunning.

Tragically, Shane’s blunder became William Joseph Rudd’s doom.

Apparently, while at the stop, after loitering for a while near a store there, at around 4:50 a.m., Simmonds and Brunner resumed their violence, attacking 39-year-old Rudd as he pumped gas into his car. He was shot in the head after he refused to hand them the keys to his 2006 Dodge Magnum.

They then took the car and drove it to the spot where they were arrested while catnapping in it. Rudd, a Virginia native, who doesn’t live in Ohio, was taken to Grant Medical Center where he remained in critical condition but is expected to survive.

Both Simmonds and Brunner have been charged with murder. It remains to be seen if they will be tried as adults. Foster, a mother of seven, is sorry for all of this.

“I am heartbroken for all ... these people who died. I’m sorry for whatever has happened, and it’s a blessing for everyone that it’s over now,” she said.