Autopsies reveal Dayton mother shot 8-year-old son then herself

Nolan Combs and Melissa Hensley died after Sunday shooting; ‘He was an angel,’ grandmother said of 8-year-old boy

A Dayton mother shot her 8-year-old son before shooting herself on Sunday, according to the preliminary autopsy reports from the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

Melissa Hensley, 34, and Nolan Combs, 8, both died in a shooting incident late Sunday at their Fieldstone Drive residence in north Dayton near North Dixie and Siebenthaler, according to the preliminary autopsy.

The reports — which the Dayton Daily News was able to view at the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office in Dayton — show that both Hensley and Combs died of gunshot wounds.

Both were found by police in the upstairs bathroom of the home. A Dayton Police Department spokesperson said the department is investigating the incident as a homicide.

Combs was taken to Dayton Children’s Hospital, where he died. The preliminary report said the 8-year-old had gunshot wounds to his chest and left flank.

Hensley was pronounced deceased at the scene. The autopsy report noted she had a “close-range gunshot wound to the chest.”

Hensley’s other son, a teenager, fled the residence and flagged nearby police to the shooting around 10:15 p.m. Sunday, according to the report.

Annie Hensley, the grandmother of Combs, and Kristina Roberson, the boy’s aunt, said he was a happy child who loved to smile and play.

“If he didn’t know you, he was the shyest boy,” Roberson said. “But if he knew you, he was a whole other Nolan … he was a spitfire.”

Hensley said the boy loved to play with dolls and was obsessed with anything related to the Child’s Play franchise, wearing a Chucky Halloween costume almost every day for a year. He loved his family and friends, and chicken nuggets with ranch dressing.

“He was an angel,” Hensley said. “He smiled with his eyes.”

The grandmother said she was still in shock from the deaths of her loved ones. Combs had been in the custody of his mother for six months before the shooting. Before then, he was in the custody of another aunt, and saw his mother frequently.

Roberson said that Combs was her son Braxten’s “best friend in the whole world.” Nolan was going to spend the night with his cousin the day of the shooting.

Braxten will celebrate his seventh birthday on Thursday.

“He said, ‘Mommy, Nolan isn’t going to be at my birthday party, is he?” Roberson said. “And I had to tell him ‘no, baby.’”

A private funeral has been set for Combs, according to his obituary.

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