On September 28, 2016, I lost my best friend of 33 years, my baby brother Christopher Sparks. Even though he was 33, he had really just started his life. He had spent most of his 20s working in restaurants but had gone back to college and gotten a degree in mathematics and a nice job with Tennessee state government. He moved to Nashville to be closer to me and my family, and it was wonderful. He was there for every birthday party, soccer game, dance recital – you name it, he was always there for my kids (7 and 5 at the time). We had a very special relationship, and though we were very different, we were best pals.
Chris had taken his lunch break to drive home to walk his rescue dog, Dawson. Along the way, on a four-lane busy road, he shouted at someone driving erratically. That person shot him at the next intersection and drove off; nobody got the tags, and it was a block from a police precinct.
That day he joined the over 500 unsolved murders in Nashville, and became one of eight people shot to death in 10 days.