Vigil held for boy shot and killed in Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) – Community members came together Wednesday night to honor the life of a 4-year-old boy who was shot and killed Sunday night by a stray bullet in Portsmouth.

Zsailynn Conley died after police say he was hit as he was sitting on a porch with his mother.

Three days after the tragedy, dozens gathered in Mound Park, just across the street from where Conley was shot. They prayed and sang hymns by a memorial set up in the child’s honor.

“He was a sweet little thing and also had a silly side to him,” LaDonna Brady, a friend of the family, said. “This is heartbreaking. He had so much life ahead of him.”

Tracy Perry worked at the daycare where Conley went and began to babysit him outside of work. She says he became like family.

“He was the sweetest little kid,” she said. “He had the prettiest eyes that would make you smile. I can’t even explain it.”

Portsmouth police were called to Grant Street around 11:35 Sunday night after shots were fired.

The chief says it’s believed at least two guns were used, and a stray bullet hit the boy as he was on a porch with his mother.

The mother tells WSAZ she heard a couple shots coming from the direction of the park, but it was dark and she didn’t see anyone firing. Then she became hysterical when she saw her son had been hit.

He was pronounced dead at SOMC.

“It’s not supposed to be like this,” the mother said. “You’re not supposed to outlive your own child.”

No arrests have been made.

Perry says whoever is responsible should come forward.

“This was a child, a child who had no reason to even be involved in this,” Perry said. “He had a good future ahead of him, and you just wiped that out for him, so I hope you step up to the plate and take what you get.”

A vigil was also held Wednesday night at Millbrook Park in New Boston.

For previous coverage:

Child, 4, killed while sitting on porch in Portsmouth

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Death – Obituary – Cause Of Death