Friend Called Shooting Victim 'Metaphorically Amazing'

Posted at 5:59 PM, Apr 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-22 23:49:01-04

Friends of one of the victims shot at a Waffle House on Murfreesboro Pike in Antioch remembered him as a quiet, gentle man with meaningful, musical talent. 

Police said Akilah Dasilva, age 23, of Antioch, was critically wounded inside the restaurant and later died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

His mother Shaundelle Brooks said Akilah, whose name means the intelligent one who reasons, was passionate about his music and pursued a career in musical engineering at MTSU.

When asked what he meant to his family and friends, Brooks said, "He meant the world us. He was humble, kind, compassionate, outgoing, and very creative. We could describe him in so many words. He spoke through his creativity and he entertained the world through his music."

Friends said Dasilva, nicknamed Natrix, had a lot of musical talent and love for shooting music videos and taking pictures. Dasilva was described as a quiet, kind person, but onstage, very energetic.

"It just threw me into an automatic shock. Like, I can’t even process it in my head right now what’s going on. I’m just lost," friend and local artist Gifted Queen said.

She said the last conversation she had with Dasilva was about preparing to film a music video. 

"We were getting ready for some future stuff we got coming up. We have some shows and stuff, and he was going to do some behind the scenes footage, video and photo shoot," she said.

Queen said before the Waffle House shooting, Dasilva had spent part of his day shooting prom pictures for people.

"Natrix was all about making sure that we put ourselves in a position to win and not wait on anybody else, so that’s really another reason why he started shooting videos because he didn’t have time to wait on nobody. He wanted to get it for himself," she said.

Dasilva had been at the restaurant with his older brother and girlfriend, Shanita Waggoner, age 21. Waggoner was also injured in the shooting.

His family released the following statement:

Akilah DaSilva also known as Natrix (his stage name) was a humble kind and well respected young man. His character spoke volumes. One of 6 loving siblings, Akilah was passionate about his music, family, and life. He was pursuing a career in musical engineering at MTSU. He had a smile that could light up a room and a laugh that would warm your heart. He embodied compassion and had a zeal for life. A loving son and selfless friend, he was a beacon of hope, love, and strength in his family.

His family hopes that in the midst of this senseless act of terrorism and hate, his life will not be in vain. We hope that this tremendous loss will spark tangible action in true gun law reform so no other family would ever have to experience this sort of tragedy.

In the wake of this tragic event, The DaSilva Family welcomes prayers, words of comfort, and any contribution during their time of grief.