Merion Village, South Columbus – A horrifying incident unfolded late on Wednesday night outside Double D’s Pub in Merion Village, leading to the tragic loss of two young women. The shooting, which occurred at approximately 11:30 p.m., has left the community in mourning and seeking answers.
The victims have been identified as 24-year-old Tavia Copley and 24-year-old Taya Mollette, both hailing from the West Side. Tavia Copley tragically passed away at the scene, while Taya Mollette succumbed to her injuries at 12:29 a.m. the following Thursday after being rushed to a nearby hospital.
Another adult was also injured during the shooting and remains hospitalized, fighting for survival. Fortunately, the third victim is expected to recover. Columbus police are currently investigating the incident, though no motive or suspect information has been released as yet.
Erick Bellomy Jr. of Franklinton, a close friend of Copley, expressed profound sorrow at the loss. He shared that Copley, who was to celebrate her 25th birthday on the upcoming Friday, had gone to Double D’s Pub for an early pre-birthday gathering. This celebration took a tragic turn, leaving her family and friends devastated.
Brenda Marcum Grommeck expressed:
“I am sad to let everyone know my granddaughter Tavia Paige Copley was shot tonight and passed away.She was out celebrating her birthday which would had been this Friday.She would had been 25 years old.”
Charisma Estep share her sorrow,
“The fact we was supposed to hang out tonight and the last text I got from you was at 11:16 💔 I love you Taya Mollette no matter what I’ll forever have a special spot in my heart for you . You forever had my back nmw 💔 I love you tator tot I just really wish this was all a dream we just started to get close again this was the last thing I wanted I hear 😭 We go way back to making ropes to sneak out ur bedroom window out of clothes to hiding behind trash cans when bear would be flying down the streets and we didn’t wanna be caught out at 4am ,to skating around the neighborhood and running the streets definitely had a lot of memories but not enough God plz give this family the strength they need to get through this 💔💔💔 Hug ur friends bc you never know what tomorrow will bring 💔”
Copley, a loving mother to a nearly 2-year-old son, was known for her lively and cheerful spirit. Her unexpected demise has left an unfillable void in the lives of those who knew her. Friends and family have gathered outside the pub to pay their respects, creating a touching memorial with candles, signs, balloons, and flowers.
Kris Jude, who was present at the bar during the shooting, described Copley’s visit to the pub the night before as she enjoyed shooting pool. He recalled being inside the bar when the tragic event transpired.
Columbus police are urging anyone with information related to the incident to come forward and assist in their ongoing investigation. They can be reached at 614-645-4730 or anonymously through Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-TIPS.
In a separate update, Columbus police announced the arrest of a suspect in a fatal Southeast Side shooting that occurred nearly a month ago. The arrest of 18-year-old Jaylon Wilson, charged with murder in connection to the death of 19-year-old Jaijuan Jenkins, brings a sense of justice to a grieving community. Wilson will be extradited back to Ohio to face the charges, providing a glimmer of closure to a tragic chapter in the community’s history.