PHILADELPHIA – The adult son of a Pennsylvania lawmaker was missing Tuesday after reportedly being abducted on a street at gunpoint in the hours before his mother and sister were shot and wounded in their home.
State Rep. John Myers, a Philadelphia Democrat who has advocated gun control, issued a statement asking the public's help in locating his 26-year-old son, Shamari Taylor.
A female companion of Taylor's told police she and Taylor were abducted as they were out walking late Saturday. She said she was later released, according to police.
Myers spent a long night waiting for information from police, his spokeswoman, Thera Martin, said Tuesday.
"He's trying to be strong and stay calm, but he's waiting," Martin said. "As he put it to me this morning, the longer it takes to hear anything in a situation like this, the chances are that it may not be good news."
Taylor's 56-year-old mother and his sister, 21, were shot at the family's West Philadelphia home by two intruders on Sunday, authorities said. The mother, shot in the head, remained hospitalized in critical condition. The sister was treated for a shoulder wound and released. Their names were not made public.
Police consider the crimes connected, based on descriptions of the assailants provided by the woman companion and the sister.
The companion said a group of seven to 10 men shoved them into a van at about 11 p.m., according to Police Lt. John Walker. She told police they were duct-taped and taken to an unknown location, possibly a warehouse.
The woman said she was released at about 5 a.m. Sunday, but did not contact police until about 5 p.m., Walker said.
Two hours later, two intruders — who might have had a key — entered the Taylor residence, Walker said. They shot the women and then rummaged through Taylor's bedroom, leaving with an undetermined amount of cash.
Myers last spoke with his son a few weeks ago, Martin said. Nothing seemed amiss, she said.
Taylor is Myers' son from a previous relationship with Taylor's mother. Myers is not related to her 21-year-old daughter. He has been married to his wife, Joyce, for more than 20 years, his spokeswoman said.
Myers has pursued state laws that would limit people to one gun purchase per month and let Philadelphia pass local gun laws that are stricter than the state's.
His interest in gun control stemmed from the widespread violence afflicting the city, not from any prior personal experiences, said Philadelphia Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller, a close friend.
Meanwhile, Myers' Republican opponent in the November election, Joseph L. Messa, is suspending his campaign indefinitely out of respect for the Myers family.