Man Fatally Shot After Defending His Friend From A Gun-Toting Racist

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Chad Merrill had only wanted to play the role of peacemaker Saturday morning. But a racist, who verbally attacked his friend, decided to shoot him dead.

A man entered a bar and began hurling racial slurs at a black patron. The black man’s friend tried to intervene — but wound up losing his life in the process.

James Saylor forced himself between a number of individuals standing and sitting at the bar in the Red Rose Restaurant and Lounge in York, Pennsylvania, early Saturday morning. When he got to the bar, he immediately started harassing a black patron, Jerrell Douglas, calling him the N-word and hurling other racist remarks.

Chad Merrill, a 25-year-old who recently became a father, urged his friend to ignore the onslaught of racist attacks. The bar owner eventually kicked Saylor out of the establishment over the continued barrage he was leveling at Douglas.

That decision didn’t seem to sit well with Saylor, who went to the parking lot, mulled around a bit, and pulled out a gun from his pants, firing a single round toward the restaurant. Surveillance footage shows that Merrill came out, and according to reports, tried to play the peacemaker to stop Saylor from attacking his friend or other customers.

At that point, Saylor shot Merrill, who was standing near his truck, killing him on the spot. He climbed into his vehicle and drove off, hitting another car that was blocking his path in the parking lot.

When the authorities caught up to him at his parents' house, Saylor apparently had no recollection of what he had done — even though the gun was found inside his truck, and Merrill’s blood was found on the outside.

Merrill’s family is still trying to make sense of all that occurred. His brother, Richard Merrill, said he remembers him as someone who always tried to do right for everyone, regardless of whether they looked like him or not.

“He was always the peacemaker,” he said. “He didn’t want people hating each other or the world being segregated the way it is, with the racism you see all over the news.”

Merrill was a good Samaritan who only wanted to stop racism when he saw it in person. Too many racist acts have gone unchallenged by white people in recent months, and Merrill likely wanted to change the trend.

In his memory, others should dedicate themselves toward upholding the same ideals he did — that racism is wrong and must be confronted. Although safety should always remain a top priority, when a racist makes an attack against another person, the racist deserves to be confronted and condemned. 

Banner/thumbnail image credit: 779348/Pixabay

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