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.