Attn: Paul Michaels, CEO of Mars Candy "Will You Keep Halloween Safe for Our Kids?"

12-Year Old Boy Shot and Killed While Trick or Treating

In Sumter, South Carolina, an ex-convict who said he thought he was being robbed gunned down a 12-year-old trick-or-treater, shot nearly 30 rounds with an assault rifle from inside his home after hearing a knock on the door. Quentin Patrick, 22, is accused of killing 12-year-old T.J. Darrisaw on Friday night. T.J.’s 9-year-old brother, Ahmadre Darrisaw, and their father, Freddie Grinnell, were injured but were released after being treated at a hospital.

The family attended a Halloween celebration in downtown Sumter, 45 miles east of Columbia, then stopped at Patrick’s house because the porch light was on, police said. Another sibling was with them but wasn’t hurt. Police said at least two of the boys were wearing ghoulish masks when they knocked on the door. The boys’ mother and a toddler stayed in the car nearby.

A story like this is so horrible and sad to a mother of two little boys myself. A child getting hurt or killed is a parents’ worst nightmare. The fact that it came on a night that is dedicated to celebrating imagination and getting to know your neighbors, is beyond terrible. So, I am issuing a challenge. Right here. Right now.

Dear Paul Michaels, CEO of Mars, Inc. (aka Mars Candy),

What will you do to keep Halloween Safe for our Kids? In the face of tragedy, this is your moment to step up to the plate and do the right thing for your community and country. I challenge you to create a “Keep Halloween Safe” campaign.

Next Halloween, put (free) window decals in your candy bags and educate the public via television advertising. Tell the public: “Making sure our children are safe and happy this Halloween starts with you. Please put this window decal in the front window or on the front door of your house so that parents and trick or treaters know that your house is a Halloween Safe house.”

You have the marketing power, now it’s time to do the right thing for the children. Will you accept this challenge?


Angela Hill


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