Taylor Hayden: Woman killed after being caught in shootout outside Atlanta club
Taylor Hayden was already on her way to being a distinguished person. The 25-year-old had recently graduated from Prairie View A&M University outside Houston and was poised for greater accomplishments. She traveled to Atlanta to have some fun.
“The interesting thing about this is that it was her first girlfriends’ weekend. She had wanted to go on a girlfriends’ weekend forever,” Joyce Hayden, Taylor’s mother, told WCCO-TV in Minnesota.
“They had rented a house, they had this fun weekend planned. It’s tragic that it ended like that. Really tragic,” Joyce told the TV station.
Taylor had gotten a new apartment, a new job and a new car. She was ready for the world. Her family had already known success: Her brother, Jeffrey Hayden, is a state senator representing Minnesota.
Instead of celebrating her future, those who knew and loved Taylor Hayden will now be cherishing her memory. Hayden was visiting Atlanta this past week and on Friday night she went out to have a good time. It would be her last time.
About 5 a.m. Saturday, outside a popular nightspot on in the tony Buckhead district, a commotion broke between two rival groups. The groups pulled out guns and shots were fired. Bullets whizzed past the heads of scattering club-goers. One of them, an errant bullet, police say, pierced the body of Hayden. She died on her way to Grady Hospital.
“It is with a heavy heart that I report that my sister Taylor Hayden has been killed last night in Atlanta. She was caught in the crossfire of two rival gangs at a local nightclub. Please pray for my family,” Senator Hayden wrote on his Facebook page, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Her father, Peter Hayden, is CEO of Turning Point, an organization that helps African-American men with their lives. He said that his daughter was just experiencing her own turning point when tragedy happened. “She was starting to grow," he told WCCO. "That was the whole thing. Her leadership was just unbelievable and she started to grow.”
She left behind loving parents and two little sisters, Sydney and Erin.
At Taylor's funeral on July 30 in St. Paul, Minnesota, Senator Hayden reflected on his sister's life and the times we live in.
“The question isn’t just about the guns, it’s about why do some people feel the need to lash out at one another in such destructive ways,” Sen. Hayden said, according to Insight News. “Where are we as a people when we don’t respect innocent women, children … babies like the child that was killed a couple of weeks ago (in Minneapolis) and bystanders?”
“Taylor had just begun her career with Enterprise Leasing in Houston; she just purchased her car. She graduated from Prairie View A&M (Texas). She really had the world at the palm of her hands,” Senator Hayden said, Insight News reports. “We are killing our seed core. We’re losing our next Barack and Michelle Obamas, our next Steve Jobs, possibly our cure to cancer (with the murders in the African-American community).
Atlanta police say they have no suspects in the fatal shooting, despite the fact that multiple people were outside the nightclub when the incident occurred.