Uncle of Sandfly shooting victim speaks out - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Uncle of firefighter killed in Sandfly speaks out

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Wayne Franklin remembers his nephew Wesley Wayne Franklin remembers his nephew Wesley
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Details of Wesley Franklin's death have shifted in the last few day but the impact of the shooting remains unchanged. What now appears to be the random nature of what happened makes it even more difficult but Wesley's uncle Wayne Franklin says it is the memory and character of the young man that is getting their family though the grief.

The how doesn't change anything for the Franklin family. The why remains unanswerable. Where their memories take them now is the only concern for the loved ones of a Savannah man killed in Sandfly last weekend.

"The fact that he liked to help people. He was always from what I can remember helping people when there was something wrong. When there was something wrong, it could just be a minor problem, he would come up and give you that old bear hug and say uncle Wayne, it is going to be okay," said Wayne Franklin, Wesley Franklin's uncle.

That giving, caring nature has become the legacy of Wesley Franklin, a 21 year old wiling to sacrifice his time and safety for others before his own life was taken suddenly and senselessly.

Police now believe Franklin was inside Deb's Pub and Grub when he was shot, not confronting a robber as originally believed. But to those who loved the volunteer firefighter, avid fisherman and fun-loving young man, Franklin was a hero for how he lived, not how he died.

"Even though he was a very young age, a young man, he was also classified as a first responder with the fire department. He had been through many training camps. They sent him outside of Savannah, outside of the state. Many trained firefighters have not been to them. He went out and gave his time, his energy and did not expect anything for it. It shows how much passion and how much he enjoyed what he did," said Wayne Franklin.

An outpouring of sympathy and support online shows how deeply Franklin will be missed.

"The Facebook pages will go away but I truly believe everything that Wesley did as a child, as a teenager, as a man, his memory is what is going to keep it alive because there are so many people that he touched," said Wayne Franklin.

Visitation for Wesley Franklin will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday at Fox and Weeks Hodgson Memorial Chapel. The funeral will take place at 2 p.m. Friday at the Isle of Hope Methodist Church.

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