Family of slain Wilkinsburg honor student holds vigil

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PARENTS—Lisa White and Jason Paylor Sr. light candles in honor of their son.

More than three years after the day that changed her life forever, Lisa White still struggles through tears when she talks about the Oct. 2, 2010 shooting that took her, then 17-year-old son, Jason Paylor Jr., away from her.

“It’s like I’m confined to the house like a prisoner, before that I felt free,” said White in an interview with the New Pittsburgh Courier. “I isolate myself and stay in the house because I know he (her son’s killer) is still out there.”

On that mid-morning October day, as White and her children were leaving their apartment in the 1000 block of South Avenue, in Wilkinsburg, for an outing, Paylor, a Wilkinsburg High School honor student, was shot multiple times. There have still been no arrests in the case.

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SEEKING JUSTICE—Mother and father Lisa White and Jason Paylor Sr. looks on at images of their slain son, wondering if they will ever get justice for his murder.

 

White, who describes her son as a smart, funny, well-loved, intelligent young man, said since that day her life has changed drastically. “It’s been very traumatic. I used to be outgoing, active, spontaneous and always doing something with my kids, but now I don’t do anything.” White said she finds herself depressed, and unable to eat, focus on other projects or cope with stress.

But not only has White been impacted by Paylor’s death, so have her three daughters, ages 12, 8 and 3. “Now they think I am overprotective,” she said. Her 12-year-old daughter, who was standing next to Paylor when he was shot, White said, is now “angry, frustrated and emotionally distraught. It is hard for me to deal with her anger and I don’t know what to do.”

Each year since the Oct. 2 shooting, family and friends gather at the scene of his killing to pay tribute to Paylor and as a reminder that his killer is still out there on the streets.

“It was Oct. 2, 2010 between 11:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. It was broad daylight on a Saturday; somebody had to have seen something. I want somebody, anybody to just come forward,” White said. “If it was their child it would be a different story, they would want someone to come forward. Three years and we haven’t heard anything, it’s frustrating.”

 

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A FAMILY’S PAIN—Jayson Paylor’s family members stand in front of the mural created near the location of the Oct. 2, 2010 shooting on South Avenue in Wilkinsburg.

 

While she looks for peace and justice, she said whether or not the person is caught there will never be closure for her. “Nothing will bring closure. This guy is walking around breathing and my son is not. He’s breathing the air that my son should be breathing.”

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