The community will gather Tuesday night for a vigil in honor of a pastor shot outside the First Church of the Nazarene in Hartford on Sunday while putting flags out for Memorial Day services.
Rev. Dr. Augustus Sealy, 54, of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts was one of two people shot in two separate shootings just over 10 minutes apart.
Police responded to the first shooting at 932 Capitol Ave. near Newton Street around 6:30 a.m. Sunday after receiving multiple 911 calls. When they arrived, they discovered a male victim shot multiple on the road outside the First Church of the Nazarene. The man, Sealy, had two gunshot wounds to the right leg and one to the left shoulder.
According to church official Rev. Elton Adams, Sealy was outside the church placing flags from different countries in the yard as part of an annual tradition for the church's Memorial Day celebration when he was shot multiple times in the arms and legs. A special service had been planned for Sunday in honor of Sealy's fifth anniversary at the church.
NBC Connecticut spoke to Sealy’s wife Sharon, who said he was in a lot of pain, but expected to recover.
"He hasn’t lost any hope," she said. "You know, this is something that happened that was really terrible and shouldn’t have happened and we’ve already prayed for that person who actually committed the crime."
Sealy was transported to St. Francis Hospital where he underwent surgery and is listed in critical condition. He is expected to survive, Adams told NBC Connecticut. For now, the family is focused on Sealy’s recovery, which is expected to take at least six weeks.
"In spite of adversities, you know we look to God for strength and that’s what my family is doing right now," Sharon Sealy said.
Members of the church learned about the shooting involving their pastor when they arrived for Sunday services.
"There’s so many mixed emotions right now. It’s hard," Myrna Springer, a secretary at the church, said. "People’s spirits are low. We just don’t know.”
She said that the pastor is a "very caring" and "comfortable person" who is "easy to get along with."
A vigil has been planned for Sealy at the scene of the shooting, First Church of the Nazarene, at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, according to Brown.
The Major Crimes Division is investigating.