Connecticut native Kevin Sutherland was eulogized by his former boss on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday morning, who called for the 24-year-old’s spirit to live on in the chamber.
“Four days ago, on July 4 a young man was murdered just a mile from here in broad daylight on a crowded subway. That young man was Kevin Joseph Sutherland–24 years old. He was my campaign volunteer, my intern and my friend,” said Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut. “Maybe that’s unremarkable, violence seems to be a part of who we are and all too present with us. But I want to tell this House that Kevin was in Washington because he believed the best of us, each one of us. He believed that we could come together, he believed that we could set aside our petty prejudices. He believed that we could bring our voices together in this chamber and make a better world.”
Sutherland, a self-described news junkie and politics watcher was killed in a brutal stabbing on a red-line train on July 4 while heading to meet friends.
He had come to D.C. for school, where he attended American University and stayed in the city he came to love and worked for the political strategy firm New Blue Interactive. Sutherland was involved in politics in school organizations, internships and campaigns. He worked for Himes’ twice, according to Sutherland’s LinkedIn profile.
“I think there is a chance that 20 years from now Kevin might have served in this chamber,” Himes said. “Now, that’s not going to happen. But Kevin’s spirit of openness, of optimism, of possibility, that spirit must live on in this chamber and in our hearts.”
Himes also posted a note remembering his friend and intern on Twitter the day following Sutherland’s death.
“Am absolutely heartbroken by the tragic loss of intern, staffer & wonderful friend, Kevin Sutherland. I’ve known few as selfless & decent,” Himes tweeted.
Jasper Spires has been charged in Sutherland’s death.