Springfield community members hold vigil to remember Orlando Taylor III | News


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Dozens of people gathered to show support for the family of Orlando Taylor III.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – Community members gathered together Wednesday evening to remember the 23-year-old man who died during an officer involved shooting earlier this month.

Dozens of people gathered to show support for the family of Orlando Taylor III. They also called on something more to be done for the people in Springfield who suffer from mental health issues.

“We’re wailing out for Orlando Taylor III,” one speaker said.

It was a solemn Wednesday night on Genesee Street in Springfield. The vigil, held where the incident took place, brought community members together to remember Orlando Taylor III.

“Let us wail for a community that searches for answers amidst despair,” another speaker said during the vigil.

Taylor was the man who died in the officer involved shooting back on January 9.

Police said that he was shot and killed after stabbing officer Arjel Falcon in the face, then fleeing the area, but returned and ran towards Falcon with a knife still in his hand. They said that was when Officer Falcon fired his gun.

Taylor’s family told Western Mass News that he struggled with his mental health. They hope his death brings attention to people who struggle with similar issues.

“The family wants everyone to know that Orlando Taylor III will be the inspiration, so that no other African American that’s going through mental health issues will be tragically taken away again,” said Minister Charles Stokes, spokesperson for the Taylor family.

We reached out to Springfield Police for a comment. They referred us to the Hampden District Attorney’s office.

The DA’s office told Western Mass News that the shooting is still under investigation and that more information will be released once it’s complete.

Multiple faith-based community organizations put together the vigil Wednesday night.

Those leaders said that they wanted to show support for the family and offer prayers, as they grieve Taylor’s death.

“We also pray for that police officer, too, but a young man was shot and killed and we’re mourning for him,” said Sister Melinda Pellerin of Springfield’s Sisters of St. Joseph. “And we’re saying, several faith-based leaders are coming from all over the city. So today is not about blame, it’s about prayer and support.”

Officer Falcon was placed on paid administrative leave until the investigation is complete.

The body camera footage from the incident has not yet been released.

Copyright 2022. Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM). All rights reserved.

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