‘You took a part of me’: Mother of Brown Ave. gun violence victim speaks out

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 10:55 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - On Friday Night, a lady was shot and killed at a convenience store on Brown Avenue. We learn what happened that tragic night.

News Leader 9′s Amaya Graham has exclusive reaction from the family.

It’s always sad when someone loses their life to gun violence. A mother of 5 lost her life after helping the young man that her family believes shot and killed her.

Family members say 39-year-old Natalie Bell was shot and killed at Mystic Mart on Brown Avenue. She and her older brother were at the store together when they noticed several young kids stealing. Bell’s last gesture was to try to teach the kids a lesson.

“She had just went in there and gave the people a hundred dollars and told them lil boys y’all ain’t got to steal and she gave it to them the people let them get whatever they want,” said Janie Bell, mother of Natalie.

Bell’s brother didn’t want to go on camera but says one of the very young men his sister was trying to help - shot her several times.

“Next thing I know they said he walked up and bumped my son in the store and by my son was just here he didn’t know him so he, the guy, snatched his gun out of his pocket and up it said that you tell him that that’s her brother but it was too late they shot her,” said Bell’s mother.

Bell’s mother, the former owner of JB’s Dollar Scoop - a popular neighborhood soul food restaurant also on Brown Avenue - was known for feeding kids a free hot meal during the summer months when they weren’t able to get lunch from school. She says the young man who killed her daughter referred to her as ‘Auntie’ and that’s makes her daughter’s untimely death even more difficult to accept.

“And he’s always would walk up to me and hug me talking bout, ‘Buy me a soda, auntie you got a dollar,” and I would give it to him... every time I went to this base store I would give it to him and now this young man killed my daughter,” said Bell. “Even my daughter bought for him that same night... he’s one of the guys that my daughter went in there and gave $100 to give them what they want and he killed her.”

JB says it does give her comfort knowing her daughter was trying to pay if forward and show kindness to the kids in the neighborhood. When it comes to the suspect in this case, Bell’s mother says she has no sympathy for the person who killed her daughter.

“I want this young man to know - you took a part of me and you took my grandkids’ mother away from them and they are suffering very bad,” said Bell.

As of right now no arrest has been made in this case. Columbus Police Department says anyone with information on the case is urged to contact Corporal R. Green or they can submit information anyonmously.