Man found shot in Lexington street remembered as musician, artist

jmadden@herald-leader.comJune 23, 2014 

Charles Wright was known as "Tommy" to family and friends. His love of music fed his dreams of becoming a hip-hop artist.

Wright, 32, was found in the street in front of his duplex at 154 East Sixth Street with multiple gunshot wounds early Sunday. He died a short time later at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. Wright was one of two people killed — and one of five people shot — over the weekend. Police said witnesses reported seeing a man with shoulder-length dreadlocks and a white T-shirt leaving the area in a silver car.

On Monday, blue balloons, candles and a poster were attached to Wright's front door with signatures and heartfelt messages. His loved ones also gathered at Duncan Park for a candlelight vigil.

Courtney Shanks and Ronnie Woolfork sang I Pray We'll All Be Ready. Others released balloons, prayed and shared some of their memories.

Letara Baltimore and Tulicka Cottrell, who organized the vigil, had known Wright for 15 years. They said they wanted to show everyone what a great person he was and to support his family.

His personality and music are what they'll miss most.

"He was funny, cool, laid-back and stayed to himself," said Baltimore. Cottrell said Wright was driven by his music, loved his city and wanted to make it big.

Wright was born in Lexington and raised on Kenton Street. He wanted to create his own path and didn't want a 9-to-5 job, said his uncle Ronald Clay.

"If you could get past his music and get down to who he was, ..." he said. "He was more than that."

Wright's brother Walker Wright said their mother died Oct. 8, 1988, of cancer, which required them to live with relatives.

Along the way, Charles Wright became an artist and would airbrush T-shirts with the faces and names of those who had died.

As a rapper, Wright was known as "Tommy Haterproof Gunz," and he performed and shot videos in the community, according to his Facebook page and YouTube channel.

"He was no bad person," Walker Wright said. "He was a people person. He kept a beat in his head."

Walker Wright said he hoped to get his brother's music on the radio soon in an effort to keep his dream going.

Justin Madden: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

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