It was a typical Saturday afternoon in a Woodland Avenue neighborhood near some of the museums, universities and learning places that Cleveland State Adjunct Professor David Wilder frequented, taught and inspired students.
Then, suddenly, a hail of bullets cracked from automatic weapons in what police say was a running gun battle by suspects driving wildly on the street.
The shooting also claimed a 15-year-old boy who, like Professor Wilder, just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Professor Wilder was over a 1,000 feet away, but that still wasn’t far enough.
The true depth of this tragedy is felt not just by the families of all who happened to intersect at that random, fateful moment.
So many more suffer. A city suffers, especially when one looks deeper at the life of Professor Wilder.
He was a lifelong resident of Northeast Ohio who found his passion for art and made it his lifelong commitment.
He taught at three colleges.
His students loved him and were inspired by him.
He was an avid and skilled painter. He was an activist who took up the fight for better working conditions for educators.
He worked to clean up neighborhoods.
Three men were sentenced for the shootings and this paints a sad picture for their families, too.
But the beautiful mosaic that was Professor David Wilder’s life will now forever be an unfinished canvas.
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