Police are investigating after 23-year-old Gerald Duane Bailey was shot and killed in a parking lot of a local strip club.
Units responded around 3:30 a.m. to the scene in the 600 block of 3rd Avenue West across from The Palace.
Bailey underwent surgery before dying of life-threatening injuries, according to police.
Authorities say that Bailey asked an unknown black male to use his lighter, did not immediately return it and an argument started.
Authorities said it appeared Bailey asked someone to borrow a lighter and, when he didn’t immediately return it, an argument ensued.
They both were put out of club by security guards.
Lt. Sean Edwards said as Bailey was going to a vehicle across the street, a vehicle drove by and began shooting at the victim, striking him several times. He was taken to UAB Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5:45 a.m. while undergoing surgery.
Witnesses also stated the victim and suspect had got into an argument earlier 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 is Birmingham’s 63rd homicide this year. Of those, at least five have been ruled justifiable and therefore aren’t deemed criminal. In all of Jefferson County, there have been 95 homicides including the 63 in Birmingham.
Birmingham activist Carlos Chaverst said he and Bailey attended high school together in Center Point and stayed good friends, speaking at least twice a week. “Gerald Bailey was a great guy,” Chaverst told AL.com.
“Gerald and I were beginning to work with a few local judges to help curb some of the violence in our communities and
getyounger people off the streets after going through the system himself.”
“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.”
“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,” Chaverst said. “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.”