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Old 09-19-2018, 10:43 AM  
gblowfish gblowfish is offline
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When Gun Violence Strikes Close to Home

One of my very best friends is a well known musician in St. Louis. He's been working on a new album, and the guy who plays piano on several of the tracks is a guy named Tom Townsend. Tom and my friend worked in St. Louis advertising together for 20 plus years. Anyway, Tom just did the piano tracks last week. Tuesday morning he was carjacked and shot in the face near Forest Park. He's in Barnes Hospital in critical condition.

I've never met Tom, but I've heard my friend talk about him a lot over the years. The guy is a saint. Literally a saint. He started a music scholarship program at Savannah Arts College after his 21 year old son was killed in a car accident down there. And in St. Louis, he started a foundation "Pianos for People" that acquires old pianos, fixes them up, and gifts them to poor kids who couldn't afford one otherwise, and gives the kids free piano lessons.

Why good people like this get shot in the face is something I'll never understand. There is just so much evil in the world. Please put in a good word for Tom and for my friend. Hopefully he'll live through this.

Story is here:

ST. LOUIS • A man who founded a nonprofit that brings pianos to families who might not otherwise be able to afford them was shot early Tuesday in an apparent carjacking attempt, police and a colleague said.

The man suffered a critical injury and may need reconstructive surgery to his face.

Sheena Duncan, executive director of Pianos for People, identified the victim as the nonprofit’s founder, Tom Townsend.

Townsend was shot in the neck just after midnight Monday while he was in the 700 block of South Skinker Boulevard, police said. He told police he was shot while someone tried to carjack his 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Because he was so badly injured, he couldn’t give officers any more information, police said.

He was taken to a hospital, and Duncan said family believe he will need to remain there for at least two weeks and undergo surgery.

“He works so tirelessly to break down barriers and create opportunities, so for him to be a victim of senseless violence is so tragic,” Duncan said.

Townsend founded Pianos for People in 2012 in memory of his son Alex, a talented pianist who was killed in a car accident at 21.

Pianos for People refurbishes old pianos and gives them away, and also provides free lessons and workshops to more than 200 young students at locations in south St. Louis and in Ferguson. The nonprofit also hosts music camps for children.

“(Townsend is) a bundle of energy and a positive life force,” Duncan said. “He’s a talented musician who has also had a successful career in advertising, (and) he’s a man on the go constantly who shows interest and compassion that knows no bounds. He’s extraordinary, and we’re devastated that he’s having to go through such a thing.”

Duncan said that anyone wanting to show support for Townsend can make a donation to his nonprofit at pianosforpeople.org.

The scene of the shooting isn’t far from the campus of Washington University in St. Louis, where a spate of crimes involving guns has compelled administrators to email parents to remind them of security measures in place to protect students.

On Sunday, armed suspects approached a student and demanded his car keys in the 5900 block of Waterman Boulevard. Last Wednesday, a shooting took place at the Delmar Loop Transit Center, where two people were injured

Last edited by gblowfish; 09-19-2018 at 10:58 AM..
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:51 AM   #2
Bugeater Bugeater is offline
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Awful story. Just awful. Does make me wonder if he resisted...damn man give up the rig and live another day.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:52 AM   #3
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Awful story. Just awful. Does make me wonder if he resisted...damn man give up the rig and live another day.
StL gonna StL
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:56 AM   #4
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Prayers for your friend's friend and we are TOO TOLERANT of these animals that go in and out of the system too easily only to repeat horrible crimes.
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:25 AM   #5
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Wow. I hate this so much.

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Old 09-19-2018, 11:40 AM   #6
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No words can express just how wrong and sad this is.
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:57 AM   #7
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That's very, very sad.

Sorry to hear, George.
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bugeater View Post
Awful story. Just awful. Does make me wonder if he resisted...damn man give up the rig and live another day.
Nah, they just shoot in StL. It's why I quit playing gigs there. Horn player got shot onstage at Broadway Oyster Bar.

Prayers for Tom, a well-known and well-respected member of the MO Music community.
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:16 PM   #9
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:22 PM   #10
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Very sorry to hear this. That is terrible. You’re right so much evil in this world and it manifests itself even more when innocent, good people like this are victims from it.

I will send prayers out to him and wish him a healthy recovery.
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:31 PM   #11
Buehler445 Buehler445 is offline
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**** it. Bring back public execution.

Sorry for your friends friend. People suck.
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:11 PM   #12
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This message was posted by his daughter today, for friends and well wishers:

"Dear friends and family,

I will begin this post by saying that my Dad is pulling through.

There are not words to express how grateful we are for the abundance of love, kindness, and support we have been showered with over the last 24 hours. Your words are truly getting us through this time and mean more to us than you know. Many of you asked how you can help, but you may not realize that your words are already such a huge help for us. We will know about more direct ways you can help in a few days, once we have a better idea of his recovery process. We are in total awe of this huge support system and of all the people who are reaching out to express their love of my Dad and say such kind words about who he is as a person. That, above all, gets us through.

For those that perhaps still do not know, my dad, Tom Townsend, was shot in the neck by a car jacker on Monday night. His jaw was shattered by the shot and an artery in his cheek was severed, but no major arteries were hit and no organs were hit. It is truly miraculous. I have strong faith that Alex was protecting him. He will need jaw reconstruction surgery and it will be a long road to recovery, but I am so inspired by his strength and bravery through all of this. As of now, he is under heavy sedation and will be for a number of days. Even so, he is responsive and aware of his situation. He is communicating with us through waves and head nods, assuring us that he knows we are there. He actually gave a thumbs up to Joe and my mom from the ambulance Monday night. He is remarkable.

As for visiting him in the hospital, unfortunately hospital policy states that he cannot have any visitors except for me, Nate, and my mom. This is an important rule meant to protect his safety. It means the world to us that you want to see him and be there for him, but for now sending your love and prayers from home is all that he needs. Thank you so much for understanding.

Please keep sending your love and your prayers, because it really does mean everything to all of us. We are not allowed to have our phones at the hospital because of a policy meant to protect victims of violent crime, but just know we see you, we hear you, and we love you so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything.

My dad is a fighter. He is remarkable. His strength inspires us all."

Well written. I hope they catch the scumbag that pulled the trigger.
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:23 PM   #13
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Shattered jaw.

Sigh.

Just terrible.

Not much we can do from a message board, GB. I will be thinking about him and his family.
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:26 PM   #14
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Shattered jaw.


Not much we can do from a message board, GB. I will be thinking about him and his family.
All the good mojo we can muster as a collective is good enough for me. Thanks for the kind words.
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Old 09-19-2018, 03:17 PM   #15
scho63 scho63 is offline
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I know it's secondary to his improved health but I hope they catch that lowlife and never let him out.
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