Widow of veteran murdered in Lake Cyrus speaks at Unity of Birmingham event

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — For the first time since her husband’s murder, Heather Gilotti is speaking out on camera.

Her emotional speech coincides with a call for unity in Birmingham.

Heather Gilotti says she feels compelled to express her message of forgiveness for her own healing and to heal the community.

Gilotti spoke at a Unity of Birmingham event on the topic of forgiveness.

She says losing her husband, best friend, and the father of her two young children–Mike Gilotti–has been the most difficult experience she’s ever had to endure.  She calls his January 5 murder an evil tragedy, but says her faith is carrying her through it. Since that day, Gilotti says she’s felt fear, pain, love, anger, and forgiveness–but never hatred.

“So when the news broke and I finally saw the face of the person charged with murdering my husband all I could do was cry,” Heather Gilotti said. “This is a child that I’m looking at a child that looks empty inside. I wanted more than anything to see a villain, but all I could see was a scared lifeless child.”

Hoover police say 16-year-old Charleston Wells of Bessemer is charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of mike Gilotti.  Investigators say he is charged as an adult.

Hoover police also say they fully anticipate more arrests in the case.

Copyright 2016 WIAT CBS 42

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