COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Authorities say Bobby Ray Stewart, 47, also known as 'HiWay' was found suffering from gunshot wounds on Buena Vista Rd. Saturday night, Aug. 23, around 11:40 p.m. according to Columbus Police.
The Muscogee Coroner said Stewart was shot in his neck and chest. Stewart's family told News Leader 9 the Columbus rapper's funeral will take place this Saturday in Preston, Ga.
Police are continuing to conduct multiple interviews, but no arrests have been made so far.
Officials say Stewart was shot multiple times inside the club but authorities say it's unclear which part of the club Stewart was shot in. A fight broke out inside the club involving Stewart and several males. Stewart was shot several times and killed during this fight.
Eddie Davis, a 34-year-old soldier and acquaintance of Steward, was standing next to him when they were both attacked by the same group of males, according to police. Davis was severely beaten, and taken to the hospital by a private party. Authorities were unable to get a formal statement from him due to his high pain level.
Officials say the victim was taken to the Midtown Medical Center by ambulance where he was pronounced dead Sunday morning at 12:17 a.m.
According to police reports, the incident happened inside The Supper Club located on 3386 Buena Vista Road. The club is also known as Club Andre's by many residents. Police say Stewart was shot multiple times inside the club.
Stewart was also part of a local hip-hop organization called "COLuminati." The group aims to bring artists in Columbus together to create positive music about peace, non-violence and encouragement to support the community.
Ray Baker, the founder of Underground Sound Entertainment and co-founder of COLuminati worked with Stewart. They produced songs about non-violence. Baker said Stewart was recently working on a song about peace as well.
"HiWay was a good man. He was really positive, and we worked on music together," Baker said. "He made sure that everybody stayed together in a positive manner. He was genuine. He was one of a kind. He cannot be replaced. HiWay had worked on a song called "Right or Wrong." It's about peace and non-violence. The song is almost finished and I'm going to finish it for him."
Mark Hall, a local artist said Stewart encouraged him and his music. Hall said he is shocked by Stewart's death and violence in South Columbus has gotten out of hand.
"We had 19 murders in Columbus. We had four just this week," Hall said. "Columbus is not a big city and it's too small of a town for all of this. You have to think and people have to think. Violence isn't worth it. It's never worth it to take someone's life. nothing is ever that serious. It really hurts to have someone like HiWay who preached peace would lose their life to violence.
Hall said Stewart was a kind person that many young men looked up to.
"HiWay once told us a story about having to bury his song," Hall recalled. "So he was passionate about peace and non-violence."
Hall also said he is surprised that such violence happened at The Supper Club.
"I performed in that club before," Hall said. "The audience that visit the club are usually grown, mature people. It's not one of those young, rowdy clubs. I'm surprised something so tragic happened here."
Officers are still looking for suspects and the motive behind this fatal shooting.
The Muscogee coroner says this is the 19th homicide in Columbus for 2014.
Anyone with information is asked to give Columbus Police a call at 706-653-3400