9 Oregon Families Are Getting the Same Heartbreaking Call I Did

by Goldie Taylor via The Daily Beast

I’ll never forget the all-consuming pain of hearing my twin brother had been killed. Now the Umpqua Community College victims’ loved ones are feeling that same pain. This has to stop.

It was supposed to be a party.

There was BBQ, bowls of chips, and coolers of beer. Neighbors complained about the noise, so they turned the music down a notch. Two young men in their early 20s—one sitting on a bean bag, the other lying prone on his belly—worked the joysticks on a video game. There was another knock at the door.

There were two shots, one immediately following the other. In an instant, both young men were dead, both shot once in the back of the head execution-style with a 9mm handgun.

When police arrived, they found scared partygoers crowded outside in the parking lot. There was a good description, but no one knew the gunman. He had gone as quickly as he’d come, disappearing into the dusk.

It was nearing the end of summer when I got the call. A detective said my brother had been killed. The medical examiner identified him by a tattoo. While some people may opt for their mother’s name or that of a lover, my twin brother had my name emblazoned on his upper shoulder.


Pregnant with my second child, I was dressing for work when the phone rang. I will never forget the all-consuming pain I felt in those moments. I remember how my husband threw his arms around me as I crumpled onto the floor and wept. Nearly 20 years prior, our father had been murdered in a strikingly similar fashion, shot four times in the head.

To Goldie Taylor’s commentary in its entirety visit The Daily Beast.