A 23-year-old man was fatally shot early Monday (7 August) morning over an alleged dispute over a lighter outside of a gentleman's club in Birmingham, Alabama. The victim was identified as Gerald Duane Bailey, according to the Jefferson County Coroner's Office.
Authorities said an argument apparently ensued when Bailey asked someone to borrow a lighter and did not immediately return it. Security guards kicked both people out of the club. The shooting happened at 3.27am across the street from The Palace, AL.com reported.
As Bailey made his way to a vehicle across the street, another vehicle drove by and began shooting at him, Lt Sean Edwards said. The victim was shot several times and taken to UAB Hospital.
Bailey was declared dead at 5.45am during surgery.
Witnesses said the victim and a suspect had previously gotten into an argument at another location.
"We hope this young man did not lose his life over a lighter," Edwards said. "We are confident, the shooter will be located."
Bailey was described as a "great guy" who was helping to work with local judges to curb violence in the community, Birmingham activist Carlos Chaverst told AL.com. "He was one of the most loving, caring and funniest individuals you'd meet," he said. "He made sure he told people he loved them when he finished phone conversations or via text."
Chaverst continued: "I'm not sure what happened, or why he was murdered, but I do know that he, his son, his family, nor the many, many friends he had deserved this. I hope his murderer is brought to justice. I hope his family receives closure. As a community we will continue to fight against this and work towards better days."
According to AL.com, Bailey's murder is the city's 63rd homicide this year. At least five of those have been justifiable and are therefore not considered criminal.