It is not known whether Nick was gay, but bullying based on the perception that he was gay, apparently played a role.
From the story:
At the tender age of 13, Nicholas Kelo Jr. knew what it was like to be relentlessly bullied. It may have been what persuaded him to pry open a safe inside his Rittman home and remove the gun that killed him.
''It had been going on for years,'' Jacqueline Kelo said. ''We would talk and he would say [of the bullies] that they were not worth his time.''
Nick played football in middle school but gave up the sport this year to participate in high school band. The switch, Jacqueline Kelo reasoned, resulted in swelling rumors. Some, she said, wrongly assumed that a kid who would prefer to play the tenor sax rather than tossing a pigskin must be gay.
''After that, it [the bullying] spiraled out of control,'' she said.
After Nick's mother found him, an emergency squad rushed him to Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital. He then was transported by helicopter to Akron Children's Hospital. But the handsome boy with the incredible mind could not be saved.
Even in the throes of anguish, his parents had the mindset to donate his organs. ''We just wanted something good to come out of this tragedy,'' said the senior Kelo, who lives in Cuyahoga Falls.
Because the boy had worked so hard to earn a second-degree black belt in tae kwon do and held a red-black belt in kumdo, his body was in remarkably good shape.
''They were able to get nine organs,'' Jacqueline Kelo explained.
Nick had once told his mother that if anything happened to him, he wanted his organs to be donated. It was quite a selfless decision for a kid his age, but then Nick wasn't an average child.
A while ago, the Kelos had to have Nick's IQ tested for a program at school. His mother teasingly refused to tell her son that he had scored 152, which is classified as superior intelligence.
''Your head would never fit through the door if you knew,'' she joked with him.
He was curious about how to obtain patents for things he had invented, such as a waffle fork to remove hot food from a toaster and an incinerator trash can.