Apology made during tribute for pastor killed during police chase

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - An apology from the man accused of killing a Richmond pastor during a police chase. That apology came in the form of a letter -- read Tuesday night by the suspect's mother during a community tribute for Pastor Anthony Taylor.

Hundreds of mourners marched from Chimborazo Park to the pastor's church and then a few blocks to the intersection where he died.

On the steps of the United House of Prayer For All People, a tearful apology to Pastor Taylor's congregation from the parents of the man accused of killing him.

"I would like to express to this church family and community how deeply saddened I am for your loss," said Shelly Harris.

Standing beside her husband, Harris read aloud a brief letter from her son, Darryl, who remains behind bars.

"I regret my driving at a high rate of speed after I panicked at a police checkpoint. I promise to dedicate my life to Apostle Taylor's memory, love and respect Darryl Harris," said Shelly Harris.

The two hour tribute honoring Pastor Taylor began at Chimborazo Park.

"He was a great man and we have lost a tall tree; a tall timber not only in the east end but a strong timber in the city of Richmond," said Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones.

"Apostle Taylor I would consider him one of those action heroes. His actions were truly more powerful than his words," said Del. Delores McQuinn who was the officiating minister.

Drum major, Melquan Robinson, says Taylor left a lasting impression on his life.

"He inspired me to do a lot of things. I'm not in the perfect person. He inspired me to live a better life," said Robinson.

The marching band  the pastor created led the way for some three hundred mourners to his church. Moments later, they crowded into the intersection at 31st and P streets where Taylor died last Wednesday when police say Harris, who was fleeing a checkpoint in Henrico County, slammed his car into Taylor's truck.

Candles were lit in memory of a man near and dear to the hearts of many.

"He planted his footsteps in the sands of time and left imprints that can never be erased. His ministry spread far and wide; the food ministry, clothing, educational, school for young people, even summer programs but one of his first and major ministry was his band," said Rev. McQuinn.

Pastor Taylor will be laid to rest on Saturday.

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