25-Year-Old New Dad Gunned Down By Man Who Called His Friend A Racial Slur Outside Pennsylvania Bar

25-year-old Chad Merrill was shot and killed on Saturday, July 21st, outside of the Red Rose Restaurant and Lounge in Hellam Township, Pennsylvania, after confronting a man who was hurling racial slurs at Merrill’s friend, Jerrell Douglas.

Authorities say the confrontation began inside of the bar when James Saylor, 24, began screaming the n-word at Mr. Davis.  After being removed from the premises, Saylor fired a shot at Merrill, who was walking in the direction of his pickup truck.  According to the Associated Press, Merrill had had no previous contact with Saylor, and appeared to be making his way toward the truck to talk and make peace.

Saylor then tried to drive away, but collided with a Sedan. Saylor got out of the car and fled.  He was later arrested, and is currently being held without bail on one count of criminal homicide in the second degree.

This summer has been plagued by racially charged incidents.  Earlier this week, Morgan Stanley fired a woman who nearly ran a black couple off the road while shouting racial slurs at them.  A white woman in Oakland called the police on a black family having a barbecue in a public park, then cried when the police refused to make an arrest. 

Since the 2016 United States general election, CNN reports that hate crimes in the United States have risen to a point unseen before in US History, with over 6,000 reported hate crimes plaguing a staggeringly small amount of police precincts (just under 1500–for reference, there are 17,985 police departments in the United States).

These statistics coincide with an alarming tendency toward nationalism and isolationism in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the US Government.  Unless something changes drastically with the next election, stories like Chad Merrill’s may continue to sound all too familiar.

Merrill leaves behind a newborn son, Layton, a brother, Richard, and mother, Pearl.  Richard Merrill has started a GoFundMe page to cover the costs of Chad’s funeral.  The page can be found here.

H/T: HuffPost, Associated Press