NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — This weekend marks one year since the brutal murders of two innocent friends outside of an East Nashville bar.
Bartley “Brandon” Teal and Jaime Sarrantonio were out celebrating Brandon’s birthday in the early morning hours of August 17, when police say they encountered robbers who turned out to be cold blooded killers.
Although it’s been a year, Brandon Teal’s family says it seems like yesterday.
“Still shocked, disbelief, a total nightmare from one day to the next,” Brandon’s father Bartley Teal told News 2.
The heartache hasn’t gotten any easier.
“The heartbreak, the tears…the waking up at night, you crying, you cry so hard and you sleep but you wake yourself up,” the father teared up.
While Bartley and Teresa Teal gripped hands it was all they could do to hold back the tears.
“It’s a cruel world out there, you never know when your life will be taken.”
That day was Brandon Teal’s 33rd birthday.
“Of course we had no knowledge that his day would come on his birth date,” stated Bartley.
August 17, the day his son, bearing his namesake was brought into the world and the day he was taken.
“It’s extremely senseless, they didn’t care,” Brandon’s stepmother Teresa Teal shook her head.
Brandon’s parents didn’t get to say happy birthday to their son that day, as Brandon and Jaime Sarrantonio were shot and killed after celebrating another year.
“I prayed from day one that the moment… the moment before anything happened that God had his arms wrapped around my son and that Brandon didn’t know anything,” Teresa cried.
While he died that day, Brandon’s family wants their son remembered for his talent as a guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter and for his adventurous, fun, loving spirit.
“He lived life to the fullest and he was the oldest soul in a 33-year-old body that I’ve ever met,” said Teresa.
As the day that now haunts the family approaches, they are leaning on prayer for comfort and justice.
“I haven’t read the first card that we received during that time, we haven’t been able to. (It) just brings back too much emotion of what happened, how tragically his life was cut too short. We hope and pray that it will continue getting better.”
The Teal family wanted to make sure that Jaime is also not forgotten. The family of the 30-year-old Vanderbilt graduate wants her remembered for her kindness and positive attitude.
On Saturday, friends, and family of both victims will celebrate their loved ones at The Cobra for “Teal Fest.”
Proceeds from the event will go to MusiCares.
“It is very important for the music industry, being that they are what you would call I guess starving artists to get the support that they need rather it be medical, mental, anything of that nature,” said Teresa.
Brandon’s family plans to release 33 teal colored balloons at the event in honor of his birthday.