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Cop killers up for parole 36 years later
CINCINNATI (Deb Dixon) -- David Mellon wanted to be a Cincinnati police officer.
That was, until one night in 1978. He was riding with family friend, officer Chuck Burdsall, when two cop killer's attacked. Mellon testified and both Russell Bell and Wayne Reed were were sentenced to die. Mellon told tell the painful story again because both murderers are now up for parole.
At 19-years-old David Mellon knew what he was going to do with his life. But it all changed one night in July 36 years ago.
"It took away dreams I had all my life. Up until that point I knew I wanted to be a police officer like my father," said Mellon.
That night in July an off duty cop inside the King Kwik Store on McMicken called police to say two men in a car looked as if they were casing the store to rob it. Officer Burdsall, with Mellon as a ride-along, pulled the car in question over. Burdsall walked toward the car just as Wayne Reed came out the driver's door.
Mellon remembers, "He got out of the car, he was bent. He kind of got out off the car all bent over came up around started firing."
Reed shot Burdsall in the mouth, back and side. Then he shot David Mellon in the back. The wounded teen did something later called valiant. He picked up Burdsall's service revolver and fired at the getaway car with Reed and co-conspirator Russell Bell inside it.
"I cut the door handle out of the car trying to hit him in the side of the head. Couldn't get the gun up high enough," said Mellon.
The son of a police officer, Mellon knew what he had to do next. He called for help using the two-way on the dying officer's chest.
"I said, 'Police officer down needs assistance,'" said Mellon. "The last words he said because I couldn't remember car number, he said, '508, 508.' I'll never forget that."
Only then did David Mellon feel the sting of the bullet in his back, meant to kill him. Wayne Reed and Russell Bell hid their guns and changed the license plate on the car but holes from the bullets Mellon fired helped identify them. A jury sentenced Reed and Bell to death for the crimes they committed. But that same year Ohio's death penalty was declared unconstitutional and death sentences were commuted to life.
That was why Wayne Reed and Russell Bell will be up for parole. That was why David Mellon wanted people to remember what he can never forget.
CLICK HERE to let the parole board know what you think about Russell Bell and Wayne Reed's bid to get out of prison.
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