Aug 4, 2014
09:21 AM
Connecticut Today

New Haven Pastor a Source of Comfort at Shooting Scenes

New Haven Pastor a Source of Comfort at Shooting Scenes

Rich Scinto

Pastor Troy McNulty stands with his wife Carlene McNulty and stepson Caleb.

There are a few things that are bound to be there at a homicide scene in the city: yellow police tape, detectives and, almost always Pastor Troy McNulty.

McNulty’s church is the shooting scenes, the hospital bench outside of the emergency room, candle vigils, courtrooms, jails, funeral homes and virtually anywhere in the city where a heart aches after bloodshed.

His congregation consists of victims, perpetrators, hurting families, police officers or anyone who asks for help. Service starts when McNulty arrives at a scene and doesn’t stop as long as a grieving family still needs his counsel, and that could be for years.

Over the past 4 1/2 years, McNulty has been to about 75 homicide scenes and countless shootings and other places where violence hits. He isn’t on anyone’s payroll and has been doing it for free.

A PayPal donation page has been set-up for McNulty while he works on a stable way to continue his mission.

He juggles his volunteer service with his commitment to his wife, Carlene, and his 9-year-old stepson, Caleb.

Once he was regarded as an enigma, a white pastor and U.S. Army veteran who hails from central Massachusetts, out at 3 a.m. in a predominately black city where street violence mostly is young black men hurting or killing other young black men. He doesn’t exactly fit the motif of a crime scene.

Like nearly everyone else, Assistant Chief Al Vazquez said he was puzzled by McNulty’s presence at first. The two ran into each other at countless scenes when Vazquez was the officer in charge of the detective bureau.

“When I first saw him out there, a white pastor in black and Hispanic areas, it was surprising to see that on top of what he was doing,” he said. “…I’ve been doing this for a long time and I don’t know of any other pastors really that go to that extent.”

Other pastors agree.

“That’s not common with what we find today, not only with people but with pastors,” said the Rev. Rick Kennedy, whom McNulty helped after his stepson T.J. Mathis was gunned down in an apparent robbery in 2011. “He really takes the gospel to the street.”

“He is there immediately on scene, he is there helping families deal with emotion they don’t even know they have sometimes,” said Assistant Chief Anthony Campbell. “I think you can’t really put a price on that.”

At first, McNulty got a lot of puzzled looks and was often accused of being an undercover cop, he said. It still occasionally happens, but often it doesn’t take long for another community member to vouch for him for those who haven’t met him.

For the rest of this story, visit New Haven Register online.

 

New Haven Pastor a Source of Comfort at Shooting Scenes

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