Man shot in the face before 25-year high school reunion, reunites with classmates

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by Priscilla Luong

GLENDALE-- A house filled with laughter, good eats, and great company as Sarah Willis prepared to surprise her lifelong friend, Claudiare Motley.

"He came home to have his class reunion," said Willis, "so we're going to make sure he has his class reunion."

Dozens of old friends, family members, even old coaches gathered at Willis' home to celebrate Motley. 

Willis signaled everyone to be quiet as Motley and his wife walked up to her door. 

When Willis opened the door, Motley was greeted with thunderous cheer.

"SURPRISE!" everyone exclaimed.

Motley was overwhelmed.

"I didn't think they were going to regroup," he said, smiling, "you know it's hard to get people to come back into a situation."

Motley was shot in the face on June 24, the night before his 25-year reunion with Milwaukee Tech High School's Class of 1989.

"Maybe it took a person like me to take a bullet, so everyone could be aware of what's going on in this city," said Motley.

Friends who attended the reunion also visited Motley in the hospital.

"Claudiare's message to the class was he wanted us to have a good time, don't worry about him, he'll be okay," said Willis, recalling her hospital visit with Motley.

Willis wanted to make sure Motley saw all his old friends before leaving for North Carolina, so she organized another reunion at her Glendale home. 

"It just speaks to the kind of person she is," said Motley.

A homecoming he'll always remember.

"This is always going to be my home," said Motley, "I grew up here in Milwaukee, you know, I love Milwaukee, I have family and friends that love me greatly."

Motley traveled more than 800-miles from North Carolina to attend the reunion, he says this was the perfect send-off.
 

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