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Friends remember murder victim for his 'hard work' and entrepreneurial spirit

Posted at 2:32 PM, Apr 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-30 21:43:03-04

ANTIOCH, Tenn (WTVF) — An Antioch sports bar will hold a candlelight vigil for a well-known community entrepreneur and photographer murdered earlier this week.

Owners Ashley and Robert Gaddy of DONKS Sports Bar plan to remember Robert Dre Shields during the vigil set for Wednesday, May 1st at 9 p.m. in the parking lot outside of the sports bar. People are asked to wear white.

Shields was shot and killed while leaving Elks Lodge on Jefferson Street early Sunday morning. Police said Shields left the lodge with money from a party that happened a few hours prior, when an armed robber confronted him. The two exchanged shots, Shields was hit, and the robber fled the scene. The 38-year-old died at the hospital.

"This was his family. DONKS was his family and I really didn't know how much we were until this happened. He touched a lot of people here from the employees to the customers and made a lot of relationships outside of here because of here and we did the same. I learned a lot from Dre. Dre taught me a lot and it's so sad that he's not here anymore," Ashley said.

The couple said they first met Shields about four years ago at an event where he was taking pictures. Shields was a photographer and owner of Music City Pics, Music City Hookah and Music City Boat Rentals. He did photography at most events and clubs around town including some at Island Vibes Restaurant, Limelight, World-Famous Jazzys and 9 Bar and Lounge.

"Dre took care of everyone, it was things that he would do outside of here for the employees. Their car would break down and he would go in the middle of the night to help them out with their car, things we didn't even know until after it was over with," Ashley said.

Friends say Shields had a wonderful voice and was also the minister of music at his church. Shields was born in St. Louis and after moving to Nashville explored several business opportunities before starting his own.

Robert Gaddy has lived in Nashville since 1997 and said the violence is getting out of hand.

"It's been bad at times it's been great at times and it doesn't seem like any of it is really going to stop. I wish it would," he said.

No description of the robber is available at this time, but police are asking anyone that may have information call Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.

Shields funeral services will happen in St. Louis where he was originally from. A GoFundMe account has been created to help his family with funeral expenses.