Family speaks on 25-year-old killed on Forestside Dr. in Columbus

Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 11:46 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - There are new details in the shooting that took place on Forestside Drive in east Columbus Monday evening, claiming the life of 25-year-old Zachary Castellow the victim, also known as Tyler.

Castellow was gunned down in his front yard.

Sylvia Kelly, Tyler’s mother, says she wants her son to be remembered as a hero. She says, in her eyes, he died, saving three other lives.

Family and friends say Castellow had a heart like gold with a contagious smile. Kelly adds the worst part is that the man who shot her son had his kids in the house at that time.

“Now there’s two moms without a son cause her son is he is gone to,” said Sylvia Kelly.

Five shots went into the home of Zachary Castellow while his girlfriend and her kids, the suspect’s children, were in the house.

According to the family, the suspect daughter saw Tyler get shot in the head while walking back towards his home. Castellow and his girlfriend had just found out they would welcome a child.

“I can’t eat I can’t sleep my kids won’t leave my side it’s just he’s not here and he was so excited,” said Rayna Gallops.

Tyler’s best friend says hanging out with him was always fun but uplifting. He loved riding motorcycles and had a passion for animals. He had five dogs the family is currently working to rehome them.

“It was never a dull moment with Tyler. No matter if you were sad or out or down, Tyler was there to lift you up,” said Randy Murray.

Jonathan Thompson, the suspect in this case, was in recorders court Wednesday morning, where he was denied bond, and the case was bounded over to superior court.

“We shouldn’t be burying our son he is supposed to bury us,” said Sylvia Kelly.

While an autopsy is done on Castellow’s body, the family will plan his memorial service. The young victim didn’t have life insurance at the time. The family has created a GoFundMe to help with the funeral cost.

“Any kind of help will be gratefully appreciated. We’ve had a lot of friends already donate to it, but we’re looking at right at $17,000 for this,” said William Paul.

If you want to help the family, click here.

News Leader 9 will also update you on the murder suspect as the case moves through court.