Prude Death Investigation

Father of Melvin White Jr. continues to preach against violence after losing two sons

Local News

The father of a local man who was gunned down in Rochester spoke with News 8 about the son he lost. 

Melvin White Jr. was shot to death after leaving a bar on Central Avenue earlier this year. His murder made headlines the morning after Easter Sunday. 

It’s a pain his father knows all too well, having lost another son to gun violence more than 15 years ago. 

“My wife called me and told me he had been shot, and so I picked up my other son and we went to the hospital,” says Melvin White Sr. “When I got there I could here the screaming. I just knew some way that was it.” 
” I never would’ve thought a month ago I was going to be burying my son, never crossed my mind,” says his father. “What happened to me twice, it can happen to others. And it will.”
This is Minister White’s second time mourning the loss of a child. In 2001, Derrick Smalls’ life was cut short by gun violence. 
Both sons were raised in the church, but both chose to live another life. 
“You don’t have to live violent,” says White. “If you don’t live violent, you won’t wind up dying violent.” 
Minister White says he was present in his children’s lives, but through his ministering he comes across too many young black men without fathers or role models. He pleas- the cycle must stop. 
“These men, they need a father. They got a daddy because it takes a daddy to get them in this world,” says White. “But they need a father to teach them the way to go and the reason these fathers can’t teach these children is because they haven’t been taught.”
Minister White finds comfort in reading the Holy Bible. His motto: “You can be here today and gone today.” 
“I remember the day he was born was at Strong Memorial Hospital. I was doing construction,” he says. “I told my wife that morning when I come from work, ‘I want you to have that baby’. Sure enough, I came home, she had Melvin Jr. The last time I saw him he was laying in the church dead.”
Minister White was unable to save his sons. But, he continues to preach against violence and encourages everyone to love thy neighbor. 
The murder of Melvin White Jr. is still under investigation. 

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