Friends, family set up memorial for murdered delivery driver

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Emotions are raw as family, friends and coworkers said they are having a difficult time keeping it together.

NBC4 was at the site where pizza driver James Flannery’s vehicle came to rest against a utility pole at Hamilton Road and Kingsland Avenue.

James Flannery CREDIT: Flannery family
James Flannery
CREDIT: Flannery family

Police say Flannery was shot and killed late Thursday night while trying to make a delivery.

This afternoon an impromptu group of his friends and coworkers made a monument for their friend–a Papa John’s pizza box filled with flowers.

“May the circle be unbroken, by and by, Lord, by and by” was sung as employees bowed their heads in prayer.

Danielle Cozart says she was close friends with James Flannery and many other Papa John’s employees.

“Woke up this morning to find out it was James and my heart just sank,” she said. “There is nothing in the world that I could imagine make me feel worse.”

NBC4 talked with Flannery’s younger brother Steven who lives in Boaz, outside Parkersburg in West Virginia.

“It is pretty rough,” Steven said. “We were pretty close saw him all the time, he used to come to town about once a month and we would get together and go fishing.”

He said James came to Columbus 15 or 20 years ago. James last worked delivering with Amway, got laid off, and was thankful to get back to work.

“He liked big towns,” Steven said. “We…used to go to Wheeling all the time. He liked the big town life I guess.”

Two of James’ coworkers prayed at the site where he crashed. Papa John’s would not allow employees to talk, but his friend Danielle did.

“I am eight months pregnant and he was always rubbing my belly and said he couldn’t wait for the baby to come… he was just a super sweet man,” said Cozart.

His brother Steven says his body will be taken back to Parkersburg, no time has been set for his funeral.

Papa John’s Columbus released the following statement:

“Papa John’s Pizza and our entire Columbus team is deeply saddened by this senseless tragedy involving our valued team member. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, our entire team, and the Columbus community as we go through this emotional time.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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