Some of you may know that my first born son Toriano II was murdered about 12 years ago at age 16. I've been pretty public about how he died.
Here's a detail most don't know. The day TP2 was killed in St. Louis, I worked as a high school sports reporter at the Examiner newspaper in Independence, Missouri, just outside Kansas City. On this day, Monday, September 28, 2009, my assignment was to cover a high school softball game that began at 4 p.m.
My son was shot at 3:58 p.m. as he left a store in north St. Louis. Within minutes, his mother was on the scene and called me with the news. They were putting up the tarp to shield his body, she told me. I was devastated. I called my mom and older brother in St. Louis to makes plans to return home some 232 miles away.
After a few more calls to close friends, I settled into the bleachers to cover the softball game. It lasted about an hour-and-a half. I interviewed a couple of players and coaches from both teams before I headed back to the office to file my game story, which I turned in by 7 p.m. I then summoned the sports editor and managing editor. Both were speechless as I delivered the news. I can't imagine what they thought.
Who covers a damn meaningless game when their son has been gunned down? And then files a story?
Well, my son was dead. There was nothing I could do about it at that point, so I did my job. And I have been showing up every day since. For my family and friends, for my community, for my colleagues. Good, bad, indifferent or ugly, I show up every single day. Control what you can control. Also, I am UNBREAKABLE...