Tuesday, August 29, 2006

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The adult son of a Pennsylvania lawmaker was missing yesterday 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 for the public’s help in locating his 26-year-old son, Shamari Taylor.

A female companion of Mr. Taylor’s told police that she and Mr. Taylor were abducted as they were out walking late Saturday. She said she was later released, according to police.

Mr. Myers spent a long night waiting for information from police, his spokeswoman Thera Martin said yesterday.

“He’s trying to be strong and stay calm, but he’s waiting,” Miss 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.”

Mr. Taylor’s 56-year-old mother and his sister, 21, were shot at the family’s West Philadelphia home by two intruders 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 female companion and the sister.

The companion reported that a group of seven to 10 men shoved them into a van at about 11 p.m., police Lt. John Walker said. 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., Lt. Walker said.

Two hours later, two intruders — who might have had a key — entered the Taylor residence, Lt. Walker said. They shot the women and then rummaged through Mr. Taylor’s bedroom, leaving with an undetermined amount of cash.

Mr. Myers last spoke with his son a few weeks ago, Miss Martin said. Nothing seemed amiss, she said.

Mr. Taylor is Mr. Myers’ son from a previous relationship with Mr. Taylor’s mother. Mr. 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.

Mr. 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 personal experiences, said Philadelphia City Council member Donna Reed Miller, a close friend.

Meanwhile, Mr. Myers’ Republican opponent in the November election, Joseph L. Messa, is suspending his campaign indefinitely out of respect for the Myers family.

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