Reports say Kelly, who lived with his mother, walked to a convenient store near his home in the early morning on Thanksgiving Day, 2015 against his mother's advice.
Moments after Kelly contacted his mother via cellphone to assure her was safe, a white Mazda pulled along side. One of its occupants opened fire.
Kelly's mother opened her door to see her son lying on the pavement and two males drive off, one of whom pointed a gun at her.
Police believe robbery was the motive and are currently asking for the public's help in identifying the two urban savages who took Kelly's life for sport.
• Unlike the death of Trayvon Martin who was killed after a walk to a convenient store in Florida, the national media ignored the death of Ryan Kelly. The media failed to refer to him as "unarmed" and offered no suggestion that he was singled out because of his race. The media did make his mother a celebrity and, to our knowledge, has never even revealed her name.
52.2 percent of homicides in the nation are committed by blacks, nearly all by black males ages 18 to 49 who comprise about 4 percent of the population.
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All Ryan Kelly wanted was a late-night snack at Wawa.
So, despite his mom’s protests, he walked less than a mile to the convenience store on Aramingo Avenue from his Port Richmond home.
It was about 5 a.m., not long before the sun would rise on an unseasonably warm Thanksgiving Day.
As time passed, his mother, worried, called the 21-year-old’s cellphone. He told her he was fine, that he was walking down the block toward their front door on Almond Street near Venango, according to police sources.
Not long after, there was a gunshot. Kelly’s mother ran outside to see him lying on the pavement. Near him was a man who jumped into a white Mazda 6, a man who pointed a gun at her in a clear, silent threat as he sped away.
Now, police are looking for that man and his male accomplice, suspects allegedly responsible for a string of armed robberies in that same neighborhood.
At a news conference Friday evening, Lt. John Stanford, a police spokesman, released surveillance footage of those men, whom investigators are describing as persons of interest in Kelly’s slaying.
The photos were captured by a surveillance camera hours before Kelly’s death at a nearby TD Bank, where the men unsuccessfully tried to withdraw money from a debit card they had stolen in an earlier robbery, Stanford said.
Detectives believe the 21-year-old’s slaying was also a botched robbery, but it’s unclear if anything was taken from him.
After the gunfire, Kelly was taken by police to Temple University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about a half-hour later.
Kelly’s father, William, declined to speak with the Daily News. He said wasn’t ready to talk about his son, whom he described “a good kid.”
Friends posted about Kelly on social media, writing that he worked at an Acme supermarket in Northern Liberties and loved to eat his pizza “with a side of hot sauce.”
Stanford cautioned that the men connected to Kelly’s murder are “armed and dangerous,” and discouraged people from approaching them.
Police are confident the men have struck before, and believe they’re linked to two or three robberies that occurred within a week in the same area. But those aren't their only crimes.
The Mazda 6 they used to flee the scene of Kelly’s shooting was stolen, according to Stanford. A police source said they nabbed the car — which can be seen in the background of the TD Bank surveillance footage — on the same night they allegedly shot him, and that the sedan was found abandoned nearby two days later.
Investigators have recovered the vehicle and are holding it as part of their probe into the murder, Stanford said.
There is a $20,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case. Tipsters should call 215-686-8477.
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