LUBBOCK, Texas — Saturday and Sunday, friends and family members of 28-year-old Thomas ‘Teejay’ Bailey held car washes and fundraisers across Lubbock to raise money for his funeral costs. Bailey was the victim of a shooting at Chip’s Sports Bar late Tuesday night.
It’s been a difficult week for Bailey’s friends and family dealing with this tragedy. Throughout the weekend, they held car washes and sold plates of homemade food at some of Bailey’s favorite places — celebrating his life and ensuring the community remembers Bailey for the person he was.
“He was always joking around,” said Andria Rangel, Bailey’s girlfriend. “I would tell everybody, he’s just a big teddy bear with a big, big heart. And that’s how everybody knew him.”
Other friends had similar things to say about Bailey – calling him goofy, lovable and kind-hearted.
“Teejay, he was always laughing,” said Rangel. “He was always making everybody smile, it didn’t matter. You know, if you were, even if you were sad or mad, or you know, even happy, he was always joking around.”
They hosted car washes and sold plates of food all day Saturday and Sunday at the Copper Caboose and Bar 806 — two of Bailey’s favorite places to hang out.
“I know that he touched a lot of people’s hearts, including mine,” said Alize Mercado, Bailey’s friend. “A lot of people came out and showed up. Many people are doing fundraisers and everything as well.”
More than 200 cars turned out to support the car wash – showing just how many lives Bailey had touched.
“He touched the city’s heart,” said Mercado. “A lot of people loved him. It wasn’t just us…everybody took this hard. He was a very, very, very loved person.”
Friends said they were shocked to hear about Bailey getting into an argument that resulted in him being shot to death. They said it was very unlike him to get into fights at all.
“He was never out to drink and fight,” said Rangel. “He was out to laugh and talk and be around all his friends, be around all the people he knew.”
For Bailey’s girlfriend, who witnessed the shooting, everything still seems unreal.
“I replay that over and over and over in my head every night when I close my eyes, and I just, you know, standing there, like, just zone out and just, it always, you know, appears in my head,” said Rangel.
All they want now is justice for the boyfriend, father, son, brother and friend who brought them all so much love.
“We want that justice for him at least to have that closure, to have that, that door closed in that area. Instead of wondering, where is this guy? Is he gonna do it again?” said Rangel.
In addition to the funds going toward funeral expenses, they’ll also go to the three young children Bailey leaves behind. To learn how you can help Bailey’s family, visit his GoFundMe page.