CHICAGO (CBS) — At 6-foot-8 and more than 300 pounds, it was no wonder people called Thurman Bailey the “Thurmanator.”
His mother said she didn’t know anyone who didn’t like him, but someone took his life early Friday, when shots were fired outside Sound Bar nightclub, where he worked as a bouncer.
Police said a group of about 15 people began fighting on the sidewalk at the mouth of the alley outside Sound Bar, at the corner of Franklin and Ontario, shortly after midnight. A man in the group pulled out a handgun and started shooting.
Bailey, 28, was shot and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Bailey’s mother said the brawl outside Sound Bar started over someone being told they couldn’t go into the nightclub.
“Someone was denied entrance into this Sound Bar, and that person pulled out a gun and shot my son,” she said.
Bailey’s mother said he was working multiple jobs, including as a bouncer at Sound Bar, and wanted to one day own his own security company.
“My heart is broken. There’s a hole in my soul,” Lydia Bailey said.
“Twenty-eight years of his life. He lived them his way,” she added. “He did it with gusto.”
A graduate of Norfolk State University, a historically black university in Virginia, Thurman’s mother said he was “the epitome of a black young man blazing his course in the world.”
“I don’t know anyone that didn’t like him,” she said. “He was just an amazing young man, a young man that was loved and cherished.”
Lydia Bailey said her son once was working when a fire broke out. He made sure everyone got out safe, but inhaled so much smoke he had to go to the hospital. She said her youngest son would live on in others, as she learned Friday morning his generosity in life would continue after his death.
“He is an organ donor, which I did not know. It did my heart good, but then again that was my son. I couldn’t ask for a better son,” she said.
A 58-year-old man who is associated with Sound Bar also was wounded in the shooting. He took himself to Northwestern, to be treated for gunshot wounds to the leg and arm.
“Hopefully with the surveillance footage that surrounds this area, it could shed some light on who the individual was that discharged that weapon and took off from here,” community activist Andrew Holmes said.
A fellow bouncer at a nearby club said he was surprised to hear about the shooting at Sound Bar.
“This is a nice area. This is a place where a lot of my people like to hang out. We need safe spaces in the city. So it’s a shame. I wonder what it was about,” he said.
After the shooting, police were seen leading several men away from the area in handcuffs, but police said they have no suspects, and no one was in custody.