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LaKeisha Chestnut

In memory of William Burnell

William “Will” Burnell was my brother. A fierce force of nature. A loving husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle and friend. A life cut short too soon. Even through we weren’t related by blood, we had a brotherly/sisterly bond: One that stood, even when I lost him that January night.

On January 8, 2016, Will was standing outside of his apartment when a neighbor shot him over an argument. He was shot four times and died at the scene. Even though Will was a gun owner, he didn’t take his gun out to protect himself. He left behind a wife, a daughter, a son, a brand-new granddaughter and a slew of family and friends, including his Olive Garden 1803 family.

I miss him. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss my brother. I fight this fight for him, for his wife and for his family. I don’t want Will to be a statistic. I want people to know his name and never forget it. I want him to be the reason that we have real change in this country. Because no one ever should have to bury someone over an argument. Not me. Not anyone.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.