'I wanted to be just like him': Slain Murfreesboro father remembered at candlelight vigil
Over 400 friends and family members packed the parking lot and pavilion of Patterson Park Community Center Tuesday night to celebrate the life of Byrall Webb Jr.
Friends Treasure Sanders and Robin Gaines organized a candlelight vigil where hundreds of balloons were released in memory of the larger-than-life, 32-year-old father of five. Known as Bubba G, Webb was shot and killed early Saturday morning in the parking lot at the House of Hummus on Middle Tennessee Boulevard.
“We're coming together to shine the light on how big of a giver he was and how selfless he was,” said Kyle Freeman, Webb’s best friend and cousin. "We want to make sure we send him off in the proper way."
Those who attended the vigil were asked to bring blue, silver and black balloons to release. By the end of the day, Freeman said those colors were hard to find at stores around the county.
The floor of the Patterson Park pavilion was lined with votive candles that spelled out “Long Live Bubba G” in front of a table covered in photo panels of Webb.
“Everybody loves him. This crowd, it’s real. It’s not fake. And it’s more than people here who loved him,” said Webb’s fiancé, Teandra Bigsby, wiping tears from her eyes.
No arrests have been made. Murfreesboro police are still looking to question Apollo Shandale Cantrell, 26, in connection to the case, spokesman Larry Flowers said.
'No words to explain it'
Freeman said Webb was the kind of man who would “give you the shirt off his back” and “do anything for anybody.”
For Deborah Martin, he was the youngest of her six children.
“I have a hole in my heart that will never be filled,” Martin said, tears streaming down her face as a line of people waited to hug her. “By the grace of God, I’m holding on. I haven’t eaten. I haven’t slept. I can’t think. I cry. I have so much pain. There’s no words to explain it.”
Webb was like a son to Kim Vaughter, who lost her son several years ago.
"He was my son’s best friend — no, his brother — and when my son passed away, he stepped right in that spot. He never let a holiday go by without being there for me," Vaughter said tearfully. "This right here hurts. Senseless. It didn’t have to happen."
Webb welcomed his fifth child a month ago, his second with Bigsby. He recently started a business. And the couple, soon to be married, had just bought a home.
“Now his dreams are gone,” Webb's mother said, one of dozens who donned T-shirts printed with photos of her son. “When the phone calls stop, when the vigils stop, my heart is going to stop. We will never be the same.”
Family and friends said Webb was the kind of person younger people wanted to emulate, and many looked to him for support and guidance.
"He was my role model. I wanted to be just like him. He wanted me to be a good father. He was guiding me. Now he’ll live through me and my crew," nephew Treontae Webb said.
Visitation for Webb is noon Saturday, May 1, followed by the funeral service at 1 p.m. at Victory Christian Center, 1641 Middle Tennessee Blvd. Scales & Sons Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.
Reach reporter Nancy DeGennaro at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @NanDeGennaro.