Norman Bailey’s family and friends say he lived his life to the fullest, serving God and trying to make his community a better place.
“He was fighting for good things, positive things,” said his sister, Debra Tolbert. “Because he wanted everyone to have the same things as him.”
Tolbert said his brother was a devout Christian, loved his wife and children, and served on the advisory board of the Gary Community School Corporation.
“I miss him so much, I would be lying to you if I told you I wasn’t mad,” she said. “I’m very angry. He was a good person. He left too soon and he was unarmed. He just didn’t deserve it.
According to Gary Police, officers were called to the Blue Room Lounge early Friday morning to a shooting. When officers arrived, they found the 60-year-old shot dead in his own bar near 16th Avenue and Pennsylvania Street.
“Since they were taking them out at 3 p.m., that’s when this verbal argument started with our victim,” Gary Police Department Commander Jack Hamady said. “That’s when the individual who is our suspect started shooting.”
Police said the shooting also injured a 28-year-old man believed to be a relative. It is unclear what led to the argument.
“You have to be a freak, and you have to be Satan’s child to want to shoot someone who wasn’t armed at close range like that,” Tolbert said. “I would like to tell that person who did this that you upset my family, you caused my family so much pain, and we forgive you because we love God.”
As police continue their investigation, loved ones are leaning on their faith to get through this difficult time and say Bailey’s legacy will live on.
“We’re going to continue to honor him every day that we can by doing some of the things he did, helping people, giving back and not turning our backs on people,” Tolbert said.
Bailey has served on the advisory board for the past two years and intended to run for Calumet Township administrator.
“It’s a huge loss for the town of the Gary period,” said Robert Buggs, chairman of the advisory board. “Because, like I said, everyone who loved Gary loved Norman.”
Buggs said Bailey always did what was best for her hometown and left a lasting mark on her community.
“I just want the world to know that if there were more people like Norman Bailey, this world would be a better world,” Buggs said.
Police said there was surveillance video of the shooting. Detectives are still pulling this video in an attempt to identify the suspect.