On Your Side: Reno woman endures impact of violent crime for second time
Deana Connelly plays a video on her phone that Anthony Herrera sent her after her son Ryan was killed in 2012. Anthony was close with Ryan, so close that he got a tattoo on his arm to honor Ryan after Ryan was killed.
"It said 'R.I.P. Ryan Connelly,' then it had a bible verse," Deana told us.
She says Anthony was like a son to her.
"He was a good all around kid," she said. "I just loved him, loved him like my own."
Connelly had no way of knowing when she lost her own son that five years later she'd be grieving the loss of Anthony, who was fatally shot in the middle of the night on Lake Street earlier this month.
Clyde Bromaghim, who lives on Lake Street and witnessed the shooting, says there was a fight, and then the shooter fired multiple times as Herrera lay on the ground dying.
"One guy stood over the other guy and said, 'You brought this on yourself and you're gonna die like a dog in the street.' And then emptied his clip," said Bromaghim.
Reno police say Herrera was shot while trying to commit a robbery. Detectives have interviewed the shooter and no arrests have been made, but the case remains under investigation.
In the meantime, Deana is still wondering if her son's murder will ever be solved. Five years later, there's been no arrest in that case. Fliers with her son's photo cover the front window of her Reno apartment.
It was July of 2012 when Ryan Connelly was shot while walking home from a convenience store at Oddie Boulevard and Sutro Street, near the Livestock Events Center. Connelly managed to make it to a nearby apartment where he died. Reno police now classify it as a cold case but they're not giving up on solving it.
"It happened at night," said Reno Police Officer Tim Broadway. "Somebody saw something. We're just asking for anybody who might have seen something to call Reno Police or Secret Witness."
Deanna Connelly has the same wish: "I'm just hoping somebody's going to come forward so we can get justice."
Until then, the pain Connelly has endured for the past five years is not likely to go away. In fact, it just got worse. Connelly is now grieving the loss of her own son and a young man who she loved as her own.
"How do I handle this as a mom?" She asked herself out loud. "They say God doesn't give you more than you can handle so God must think I'm really strong."
If you have any information about either of these cases you can call Secret Witness at 322-4900. You can remain anonymous. Police are confident that someone out there has information that can help solve the case and help give Ryan Connelly's family the justice they've been waiting for for five years now.