What to Know
- A man who had been kicked out of a bar following his racial remarks to a black patron later shot and killed another man, police say.
- Witnesses say the suspect had an argument with a black man and made racial remarks that led to his removal prior to the shooting.
- Family members believe the victim tried to defend the black man and make peace with the suspect before he was shot and killed.
A man who had been kicked out of a bar following his racial remarks to a black patron later shot and killed another man who may have gone outside to try to make peace, police said.
The victim, Chad Merrill, was shot early Saturday outside the Red Rose Restaurant and Lounge in Hellam Township. The man who was kicked out of the bar, James Saylor, was arrested and was charged with criminal homicide, police said.
Witnesses told investigators that just before the shooting Saylor had an argument with the black man and after some racial remarks he was removed from the bar.
Surveillance video showed Saylor going to his pickup truck and firing at the building, authorities said. Video showed Merrill walking outside in the direction of Saylor’s truck and then falling to the ground, they said.
Saylor, of Lower Windsor Township, tried to leave in his truck and collided with a sedan, then fled and later was arrested, police said.
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It’s unclear why Merrill walked outside since he didn’t appear to be leaving the bar, they said, and surveillance images don’t show any hostility on his part. Witness accounts indicate he may have been trying to make peace, they said.
“Maybe he was trying to right the wrong,” police Chief Doug Pollock said.
Family members suggested that Merrill, of Windsor, had been defending the black man targeted by the racial remarks. His older brother Richard Merrill said that was something very much in character for him.
“My brother was someone who wanted to create peace,” he said.
Court documents don’t list an attorney who could respond to the charge against Saylor, and a listed phone number for him couldn’t be found Sunday.
Merrill's loved ones created a GoFundMe page for funeral expenses.