Police: Shooter used racial slurs, was kicked out of bar before homicide

A man who recently became a father was fatally shot outside a Hellam Township bar early Saturday morning, according to officials.

Hellam Township Police say Chad Merrill was killed by James Michael Saylor after Saylor called another man racial slurs at the Red Rose Bar and Lounge just after 1 a.m. Saturday, July 21.

Chad Merrill, 25, was fatally shot outside a bar in Hellam Township Saturday, July 21, according to police. Photo courtesy of GoFundMe.

Saylor was kicked out of the bar, according to police, and then he shot Merrill, 25, of Lower Windsor Township.

Saylor, 24, of the 1700 block of Winters Road, is charged with homicide.

Alleged incident: According to police, Saylor was kicked out of the bar after he called Jerrell Douglas, a black man, a racial slur. Police say Douglas is a friend of Merrill. 

Surveillance footage from the bar showed Saylor walking to his pickup truck and discharging a round toward the building, officials said. Additional footage showed Merrill walking toward Saylor's vehicle and then Merrill falling to the ground, according to court documents.

Saylor tried to leave the area in his truck, but he collided with a black Mazda before fleeing west out of the parking lot, police said.

The driver of the car that was hit gave information on the vehicle to police, and officers broadcast that information to other police agencies, officials said.

James Saylor

Police say York Area Regional Police went to Saylor's last known address, in Lower Windsor Township, and found his truck with damage consistent with the crash outside the bar.

Saylor was arraigned at the county's central booking unit Saturday night. He remains in York County Prison without bail. Saylor does not have an attorney listed.

Additional information was not immediately available Monday. A message for Hellam Township Police Chief Doug Pollock was not immediately returned Monday afternoon. 

No one answered the bar's phone early Monday afternoon, and the bar's voice mailbox was full. 

Saylor's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 30 at District Judge Robert Eckenrode's office.

Merrill: When police arrived on the scene of the shooting, they found Merrill laying in the parking lot, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Merrill was taken to York Hospital, and he was pronounced dead at 1:50 a.m. according to the York County Coroner's Office. 

An autopsy conducted Monday, July 23, confirmed that Merrill's cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest, with the manner homicide.

More:Police identify victim, suspect in fatal shooting at Hellam Twp. bar

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Fundraising: A GoFundMe page has been set up for Merrill's family. The page states that he was a new father to his son Layton and that he "knew how to make anyone smile on a moment's notice."

The money raised is meant to cover funeral expenses, and any left over will be given to his son. As of about 2:30 p.m. Monday, the goal of $15,000 raised had been more than doubled at $33,530.

Richard Merrill, Chad Merrill's brother, posted on the page Monday morning.

"My brother was a hero and an amazing father. I wish so bad he were still with us so he could continue being the amazing man he was. We were and still are so proud of him," it reads in part.

The page may be found at www.gofundme.com/chad-merrill-funeral-fund-etc. 

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.