Davey Blackburn, who found his wife, Amanda Blackburn, 28, lying critically injured and dying from a gunshot wound, has forgiven her killers, the Indianapolis Star is reporting.
The men, Jalen Watson, Diano Gordon, and Larry Taylor, had broken into the Blackburn's Wynnedale-Spring Hill home in Indianapolis after a spree of violence and burglaries. Her toddler son, Weston, was in his crib when his mother was shot.
Blackburn, speaking publicly at the New Spring Church in Anderson, South Carolina, said Sunday that he had forgiven the men for the atrocious crime they committed.
"At the beginning when they had not been arrested, it was probably a little bit easier because they were faceless people. I had no ideas who these guys were … the first time I felt any kind of anger was when they arrested them."Blackburn said he struggled with the idea of forgiving the men who had murdered his wife, but concluded that forgiveness is not an emotion and that he was never going to feel like forgiving them, but he had to do it. He said "because bitterness and forgiveness is going to be a cancer for no one else besides me."
Pastor whose wife was murdered last year says he forgives her kil: Pastor Davey Blackburn… https://t.co/3iUQ803k8k pic.twitter.com/PhDayCeg2WWhen Blackburn walked into his home and found his wife lying on the floor, he thought her pregnancy had gone awry. He said he found her still breathing, and his only concern was to get her to a hospital. He had no idea at that time that his home had been invaded by violent armed robbers. Blackburn had been by his wife's bedside alongside friends and family for 24 hours when, the following day, he was told by doctors that his wife had no brain function.
— NewYork (@NewYorkLoving) April 25, 2016
More than 2,000 people were at the New Spring Church main campus when Blackburn spoke at both the 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. services. The services were beamed to the church's 16 campuses across South Carolina, as well as Blackburn's home church, Resonate Church, in Indianapolis. The conversation between the senior pastor, Perry Noble, and Blackburn was shown on three giant screens in the spacious 2,400 seat auditorium.
Davey Blackburn: Forgiveness is a daily decision : https://t.co/I1TlH17MRI #AmandaBlackburn pic.twitter.com/0J4t6WLYNDBlackburn returned recently to the house where his wife was murdered and reluctantly went back to the room where he found her. He wrote in his blog that he played worship music, sat down at the exact spot that he had found her, wept, prayed, and worshiped. The pastor and his son, Weston, are staying with friends. He admits that it feels like a dagger is driven through his stomach anytime he wonders how his son will grow up without a mother, but says his son is doing alright, being helped by a taut network of friends and family.
— WTHR.com (@WTHRcom) April 24, 2016
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Police say the three men had embarked on a crime spree looking for money around 5:30 a.m., a search that climaxed at the Blackburn residence, according to the Washington Post.
They had broken into an apartment and stolen an iPhone, laptop, wallet, and taken the sleeping occupant's car keys. After finding that the occupant had a security camera, one of the men, Larry Taylor, had wanted to kill the resident who was still sleeping, but his partners-in-crime talked him out of it. They used the stolen car to move to another house, where they took a TV and another laptop.
The trio were not happy with their find, and finally arrived at the Blackburn residence and found the door unlocked. Authorities say Taylor pistol-whipped Amanda with his gun and stayed behind while the other men went to pull out Amanda's money from an ATM card. When they got back, the mother of 15-month-old Weston was dead.
Taylor said she had attacked him and he shot her somewhere around the upper body region, angry at her audacity to attack him. He had then bent over her body and shot her in the back of the head and watched her bleed.
Would you be able to forgive your spouse's killers like Davey Blackburn did?
[Image via Shutterstock/ChristianChan]