- Advertisement -
  • Most Commentedmost commented up
  • Most Emailedmost emailed up
  • Popularmost popular up
- Advertisement -

« News Home

Shooting death of son mirrors that of his dad

Published: Thu, August 4, 2011 @ 12:09 a.m.


The Vindicator ( Youngstown)

Rhonda Woodall of Youngstown shows a picture of her son, Braylen Collins, 17, who was shot and killed on the city’s South Side last week. Woodall also had to grieve over the loss of Collins’ father, who was shot and killed a month before Braylen was born in 1994.

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



The murder of a South Side teen last week wasn’t the first time tragedy involving the death of a young father has struck the family.

Braylen Collins, 17, of West Glenaven Avenue, was killed July 29 in an exchange of gunfire in the area of West Evergreen Avenue and Summer Street. Police found Collins lying on the living room floor of a Summer Street home. He had been shot in the chest.

He was pronounced dead at St. Elizabeth Health Center.

Rhonda Woodall, Collins’ mother, said her son’s 1-year-old boy is now staying with her. The grieving mother said she wants to help the teen mother of her grandchild as much as possible because she knows all too well what the girl is experiencing.

Braylen’s father, Jermaine Collins, was shot and killed 17 years ago, one month before Braylen was born. Woodall and Collins had been involved in a relationship, and she became pregnant with Braylen shortly before Jermaine Collins was killed.

Vindicator files show the elder Collins was found shot six times outside a home in the 500 block of Griffith Street on the city’s North Side in May 1994. The 23-year-old had been shot twice in the chest, twice in the right shoulder and twice in the right hip.

Jermaine Collins, like his son 17 years later, was taken to St. Elizabeth, where he was pronounced dead.

Vindicator files show that Jermaine Collins also had been shot in the right thigh in 1990 and had been shot again in the groin in 1990, but he survived those shootings.

Woodall said she now wants to see to the care and well-being of her grandson. She maintains Braylen was a bystander caught in the crossfire between two feuding parties at the time of his death.

“I just wanted to say that my son was innocent,” she said. “All my son was doing was walking to the store. My son did not have anything to do with the mess that was going on.”

Woodall said Braylen was childhood friends with Delord Green, who was present at the time of the shooting and ultimately arrested for tampering with evidence and discharging a firearm within city limits. She said Braylen was walking to the store with Delord to buy cigars.

Woodall said Green had been involved in an ongoing feud with another man and had been in a fist fight with that man the day before the shooting. She said the man came seeking revenge and the gunbattle took place.

“He [Braylen] wasn’t with them all the time,” she said. “He was just going to the store to buy a blunt [a type of cigar]. The bullet wasn’t meant for him; he was caught in the middle.”

Woodall said her son was no angel — he did smoke marijuana, was charged with menacing, breaking and entering, and minor offenses such as running away and skipping school are on his record — but she said he was ready to graduate from the Mahoning County High School on Hudson Avenue and wanted a career where he could take care of his son.

Jennifer Whittemore, administrator at the Mahoning County High School where Braylen had been a student, said Braylen was focused on graduation and a benefit to the school. She said he participated in work-study programs.

“He was a very charismatic student. He was very active here and focused on accomplishing his goal of graduating,” she said. “He definitely had a plan for himself and was focused on that.”


1whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

more social security to mothers and grandmothers now 2 generations of a tax dump site.

you hang with fire, you get burned.

even still sorry for your loss,

Suggest removal:

2mzfeefee(22 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

What an ignorant and erroneous comment! Social security benefits only pay to those who have worked enough quarters to qualify. Given that this young man was only 17, I highly doubt he had paid in enough for those benefits. And if he did, SS benefits are EARNED not some type of handout.Why shouldn't the family members of WORKING Americans collect the benefits that the deceased earn. At least when spewing your ignorance, know what you are talking about.

Suggest removal:

3fcb(463 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Do you see a pattern here?

Suggest removal:

4Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

"Woodall said her son was no angel — he did smoke marijuana, was charged with menacing, breaking and entering"

It's all good in the hood . After being consumed by the fire it is a bit late to put out the sparks . These lifestyles in the hood lead to an early death .


Suggest removal:

5foxyglo(372 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago


Suggest removal:

6whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

child under the age of 18 collects ssi if father or mother is killed.

Suggest removal:

7steelwagon(284 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

It sounds like Braylen had pontential and a chance at a better life.
He was only 17 and I never knew a 17 year old kid who was an angel or one who didn't make a few mistakes and bad chocies.

It's sad that his child like himself will grow up never knowing his father.
It comes down to this....
It's education or extinction

Suggest removal:

8walter_sobchak(2728 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

SSI is a government welfare program that is administered by the Social Security Administration to hand out money not from payroll taxes. Still, the kid was 17 and had a one year old child. I wonder how old Rhonda was when she pushed Braylen out into the world. I definitely see the pattern here and it is very sad and predictable.

Hey, isn't it illegal for a 17 year old to purchase tobacco products? Should have stuck with the dope. I guess smoking does kill you!

Suggest removal:

9Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Several generations being on welfare is not good . Children dealing in drugs ,stealing and gangbanging is not good . Several generations dying by gunshots is not good .


Suggest removal:

10crimelander(122 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Totally insane never ending rotating door of doom we have in these communities. This is never going to stop unless we stop housing and fostering this culture. Boot them all out of benefit programs intended for those who have been productive and just are having a down period.

Clearly as bad as things are in these areas by our lame standards, the inhabitants in these places don't think they are that bad. Otherwise, you would see these folks fleeing. Would you continue living in Ytown if your family member was murdered not once but twice?

/ “He was just going to the store to buy a blunt [a type of cigar] /

Youngstown again proves itself pathetic on many levels.

Why are these bodegas and corner stores selling drug paraphernalia? The owners know what these folks are buying this stuff for (i.e. blunt) and that makes it illegal to sell.

Tobacco sales to minors, that isn't allowed.

We need to close these types of stores fueling the drug community with devices and then sponging up coins after these folks get high. No one can explain how having these corner stores does anything positive. Most have nothing nutritionally significant and are hives of problems in the communities.

I don't understand how people can be so statistically poor in these areas, but there seems to be such a high priority on any substance to get high or drunk on. No money, but they always have 'weed' to smoke.

Weed doesn't kill, but the culture around such sure does here. That fact is PATHETIC.

/ her son’s 1-year-old boy is now staying with her. /

About time the media mentioned this.

What's more problematic and endemic is that the baby's mama is still (or should be) in high school. The mother was 14 years old when Braylen's child was conceived.

So, what we see here:

Jermaine Collins (father) deceased from crime lifestyle. Death by street execution.

Braylen Collins (recently deceased son) dead from living in crime infested area and loafing with guys who Paul Gains should still have sitting in jail pending trial. Another street execution.

Braylen Junior no father at 1 1/2 years of age.

Braylen Junior's baby's mama, husbandless and likely non existent parents.

Rhonda Woodall, (Braylen's mother) a 32 year old grandmother caring for her deceased son's child.

Why someone like Rhona would linger in this area is beyond me. Run Rhonda, run!

Suggest removal:

11Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

The smell of tobacco while you smoke it doesn't get the attention of tha law . . ..

Roll one for mama . ..


Suggest removal:

12Max(98 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

What really astounds me is the fact that people like Steelwagon can defend this behavior and actually state that "Braylen had pontential and a chance at a better life." SERIOUSLY, STEELWAGON?! Where do you see ANY potential here? What information in this story indicates that???

And it is so sad that the Vindicator puts out this story in a sympathetic light instead of bringing to attention the pathetic cycle of doom that this culture supports.

Until we stop feeding into the notion that we are doing these people any favor by continuing to support this lifestyle and enable their sense of entitlement, this will sady continue.

When does it stop? ...

Because 15 years from now we will be reading this story all over again ... regarding his son.

Wake up, America.

Suggest removal:

13ThewayIseeit(31 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

The real "Boys in the Hood" (Sheets) have spoken again. Its amazing how people flee from the inner city, but spend all day writing about it on vindy.... As if they have a PHD in "Hood" mentality. Not enough to do in ABC Land? You should worry about those heroin and meth addicts next door.

Suggest removal:

14crimelander(122 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Guess what @ThewayIseeit, folks outside of Crackland wouldn't care about Ytown if the Vindy would stop covering such.

Is that what you advise? No more coverage of rampant crime in Youngstown?

Then again, folks might still care. Perhaps if we stop shipping all these taxed welfare dole outs to these stooge Ytown citizens folks wouldn't care. You know, outright welfare, food stamps, Section 8, projects, public transportation, etc. Oh, and the big heap folks outside send for the sub par schools. Don't forget the fortunes spent on housing Ytown's inhabitants in jails and prisons and all the free medical care for gunshot wounds, drug overdoses, child birth, etc.

Are the taxpayers paying for the abortion epidemic also?

Face it, folks ran a long time ago from these cities. White flight sure was correct about what outcome, ehh? We can put all the hippie things and gentrified projects all over places like Youngstown. It won't change the fact that we are creating masses of discarded humans living a generation-to-generation crime fantasy. All those efforts will do is chase the crime to another section of town. It will not change the underlying deeply rooted problems at the core of these murderous thugs.

Remember the "hoods" or sheets, the KKK and similar stupid groups were created by DEMOCRATS. The same groups fostering and feeding and expanding the ghetto culture. The same group who believes deeply in ABORTION as a woman's right.

Last time I checked, I didn't see many heroin or meth addicts randomly jumping out of bushes shooting folks. Sure drug losers you refer to are real problems. But, with many such addicts living all over the place, we somehow don't see these crazy killings.

Care to explain why?

Here read:

From Pittsburgh, June 2011:

Without black-on-black crime, city police Chief Nate Harper said Thursday, Pittsburgh could expect to see its homicide rate drop dramatically, to around 10 deaths a year.

Instead, he said, the city has, on average, more than 55 homicides yearly.

In the past 10 years, black-on-black killings have accounted for nearly 80 percent of the city's homicides -- 307 of 385 -- where an offender has been identified. The average for that period is 56.2 homicides each year.

"The easy way out is fast money. The easy way out is being terrorists in their own little neighborhoods, thinking that they own that one little stretch of block, when they don't own anything."

Suggest removal:

15Fred(131 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Been there and have seen it all.Many friends have left the hood with rigor mortis.There is no cure and yes it is terminal.

Suggest removal:

16crimelander(122 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

It's time to do something within these cities. Fundamental changes are needed.

It's unacceptable that we have young folks barely in the prime of their lives being killed over what? Nothing of significance.

There are folks like Braylen, dead before they are old enough to graduate high school in cities all over this country.

There are 32 year old grandmothers with dead children and dead baby daddies too.

These city streets eat lives and by design I'd say.

Any good person in an authority role in these places should be humiliated that their city continues to breed these plagues against humanity (i.e. murder and genocide). See it's not about race, but statistically, leaders have made it so. They've made areas appealing to certain folks and continue to.

People will say it's race, I say these people are being used as human tractors. Think about this. The South Side was a fine place not so long ago. Lack of code enforcement and policing seems to have intentionally inflicted great distress in concentrated areas. There were studies done about the issues in the 1970's, 1980's, etc. in most places like the South Side. They reported the very same problems we see over and over since then (crime, property maintenance issues, single mother households, massive poverty, etc.).

In the passing years what has happened? Leadership has done absolutely nothing to reverse the problems. They never do elsewhere either.

Instead, they've encouraged dysfunction in these sorts of areas. Housing values are so low and places so bad that they force legal owners to just abandon their hard earned properties.

Think about the massive collective property value losses in these areas. A house on the South Side on average probably sells at or below what it would in 1970, even if you can even sell it.

Eventually when most of the area is gutted, what the city and powers that be haven't acquired through such schemes, they buy in bulk. In comes a new fancy developer, state and federal money, all sorts of new resources. All of a sudden hell is sold as paradise. The city raises taxes and property value sky high with those new buildings in the same old neighborhoods. In the place where working families flourished of all races, we create over priced gentrification projects and wipe out the neighbors left there.

This scenario and accusations are quite old. The revolutionaries of the 1960's made these claims and saw this reality clearly. As one person then noted, gentrification is about unblacking a neighborhood and nothing else.

Suggest removal:

17crimelander(122 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Face it, young black men aren't importing the drugs to this country. Young black men aren't failing to police the streets. Young black men aren't failing to manage public welfare programs. Nor are young black men waging a 100 year war against the birth of black babies. Who is? Very wealthy maniacal types who are responsible for the deaths of unthinkable numbers of people. The same people who sterilized mentally retarded people and anyone else they could. The same lunatics who were behind many of the chemical compounds in our water, poisons in our food, etc. as a mean of destroying humanity. The names Rockefeller and Carnegie are both long term agendists in this.

Look at Haiti, look at Somalia and other African countries that can't even feed their people and have massive die off. United Nations is so deeply involved in creating the mess it does more damage than any hurricane or natural food shortage ever would. They breed into human minds co-dependency, a trick worse arguably than slavery. We feed and give to them poisoned foods, vaccinations, sterilants and other potions of death. We provide them only with genetically modified franken-seeds. We borrow to them with terms impossible for repayment. Then once the clock has ran we impound their wealth, resources and kill off their people.

We have a family destroyed, shocked into sheer terror most of us can't imagine. We have a third generation 1 1/2 year old black child with nothing. I don't see folks jumping to raise funds for educating this child. I doubt social services has put out their hand to help and inform the mother of what she qualifies for.

We all have to do something and someone needs to start leading around here and in most cities.

People will say many times, where are the black leaders? I say, look at history, the maniacs in charge jailed, discredited and even murdered most of the leaders. Those who still linger have sold out and flip flopped massively so they are still allowed to play along and exist. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, etc. a bunch of sell out Uncle Toms.

We can't let Braylen die in vein or any of the others. Sure he made some bad decisions, but he was only 17 years old. By 'hood standards Braylen was actually a pretty together person. We must mourn and protect these vulnerable people from violence, very complicated problem indeed.

I hope to see the public get behind this like the St. Dom's murders did. It's time to, it's the right thing to do.

Suggest removal:


HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2016 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes