Sam Saylor’s son Shane was 20 years old when he became the 20th homicide victim of 2012 in Hartford, Connecticut on October 20. The suspected gunman? Another 20-year-old.
“That day he died, I was selling cakes, raising money for the church,” recalled Saylor, pastor of Blackwell Memorial AME Zion Church in the New England city, “but yet evil snatched into my life and snatched my son up.”
“We haven’t found our way home yet,” he added, squinting as he clinched a photo of Shane in bright sunlight on the National Mall, the symbolic “front lawn of America” that stretches from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
“We haven’t gotten back to our regular life yet. I surely believe we’ll never get back there.”
Standing alongside Saylor on Thursday were fellow faith leaders gathered in support of tougher federal gun laws in the wake of the December 14 massacre of 20 children and six educators in Newtown, an hour’s drive from Hartford.