Hundreds gather to remember ‘hero’ Scott Waldrup

Hundreds gathered in downtown Savannah to celebrate the life of Scott Waldrup, who was tragically killed July 5. [WSAV Meredith Stutz]


Hundreds gathered in Pulaski Square on Friday afternoon to say farewell to Scott Waldrup.

Waldrup died Wednesday morning as a result of being struck by a car chased by Savannah Chatham Metro police. The driver of the car was 17-year-old Jerry Chambers. Earlier Chambers had allegedly opened fire, shooting three people just after midnight following July 4th celebrations in downtown Savannah. After allegedly firing his weapon inside a vehicle, Chambers took off in an SUV and was immediately chased by local police. Witnesses say the car plowed into several people. Witnesses say Waldrup was in that crowd and pushed several people aside to save them but by doing so was struck and immediately killed.

The crash is still being investigated.

Waldrup, 30, was well known in the local Savannah community both as an activist and as general manager for The Grey restaurant.

Family, friends, neighbors, coworkers and strangers gathered on Friday to mourn and celebrate Waldrup’s life. Waldrup’s husband, Tart Johnson, started off the afternoon speaking to the crowd as a part of the “Cheers to Scott” memorial service.

Whether someone knew Waldrup for 10 years or 10 minutes many had the same thing to say about him. The Waldrup family sat down for an exclusive interview with WSAV and said he was a larger than life man who treated everyone with love and respect.

“He didn’t care about where you came from. He didn’t care what religion you practiced. He didn’t care what race you were. It didn’t matter. To him you were human and he was going to treat you as such,” Waldrup’s sister, Jennifer Jones, said.

People hugged, cried and laughed as they shared memories. His family shared their gratefulness and personal impact of Waldrup. Many dressed in bright colors and patriotic wear as a tribute to Waldrup. Those close to him said his favorite holiday was July 4th. Waldrup was in downtown Savannah celebrating the holiday when he died early on July 5.

The owner of The Grey restaurant spoke candidly about the need for peace and change in Savannah.

“What is going on here is not a black or white issue. It’s not a gay or straight issue. It’s a Savannah issue,” John Morisano said.

His family encouraged the city not to let their son’s memorial service be a one-time occurrence but to rather to push for change and lasting peace.

“[Our hope is for this] To be a catalyst to end the violence that we’ve heard so much about and now we’ve experienced personally,” Waldrup’s father David Waldrup said.

Waldrup’s sister, Stacey Waldrup, told WSAV the family plans to use Waldrup’s ashes to help fertilize and plant a new tree in the near future. The international Association of firefighters told WSAV because of Waldrup’s heroism he will be remembered as an honorary firefighter.

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