Local Community Holds Vigil for Shooting Victim

Terrell Ray’s mother, Trina Anderson, lights candles for vigil attendees to remember her son. Photos by Ashley Benkarski.

By Ashley Benkarski

MURFREESBORO, TN — Dozens gathered at Oaklands Park Sunday at 5 p.m. for a candlelit vigil in remembrance of shooting victim Terrell “Tee” Edward Ray, his family asking for information that could lead to an arrest.

Nashville and Murfreesboro chapters of gun violence advocacy group Moms Demand Action were in attendance and helped support the event.

Ray, 30, was shot at the Villager Condominiums, 2850 Middle Tennessee Blvd. at about

Members of Greater Revelations lead the vigil’s closing with William Murphy’s “Praise Is What I Do.”

3:12 a.m. on Aug. 2, the day after his birthday. Murfreesboro Police, the city’s fire department and Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services responded to a call of multiple shots fired and found Ray lying on the sidewalk, his gray Chevy Camaro stolen. RCEMS transported him to St. Thomas Rutherford hospital but couldn’t save him. His car was found abandoned in Nashville near 43rd Ave.

The Criminal Investigations Division of the Murfreesboro Police Department are investigating but have no solid leads on why it occurred nor a suspect.

“A good man was taken and justice needs to be served,” said Ray’s mother, Trina Anderson. “Pray for them to find their way to God,” she said.

Anderson asked the killer, “Was it worth you taking my baby’s life?”

His older brother Trillion was in the Navy for six years and time with his brother was treasured. “I know I’m supposed to be strong, but this hurts,” he said. “It still feels unreal.”

Ray’s sister TaCara loves her brothers fiercely and was touched by the large crowd. “He was loved and I see that.”

Anderson’s message to parents is “to stay in their life, keep them close to God and let them know you’re there for them” with open communication.

A member of Greater Revelations Missionary Baptist in Nashville, Ray could be found there nearly every Sunday working the sound and security camera system, said Pastor Adric Lane. 

Anderson said Ray was baptized in 1998 by Lane and “had a solid foundation in the Lord” and prioritized his faith and church family; he’d be present for worship even if he’d stayed out late the night before.

Ray “had never been arrested and lived a productive life,” Lane said of his legacy, while

Anderson said he was a “role model for some,” noting his hard work and self-sufficiency while raising his ten-year-old daughter. She added he was planning to finish his bachelor’s degree in computer science at MTSU. His girlfriend of two years, MTSU student Keiran Anderson, spoke about Ray’s desire to give presents to the homeless instead of exchanging gifts for Christmas. “You raised an amazing man,” she told his mother.

“These streets are no good,” said Pastor James Thomas to the youth. “Church is the only institution that will take you in without a resumé.”

Church members closed with song as sunset ended another day with no answers for Ray’s loved ones and no justice served.

MPD spokesman Larry Flowers said law enforcement is doing everything they can, but they need people to come forward with information about the shooting of Ray as well as another unsolved fatal gun violence case on Halls Hill Pike on Sep. 8. The victim, 21-year-old Marquis Turner of Illinois, was found in response to a call of shots fired and to disperse a large crowd, MPD said.

If you have any information about the murder of Terrell Ray, call Detective Julie Cox at (629) 201-5514 or Crime Stoppers at (615) 893-STOP (7867). Det. James Abbott at (629)201-5523 can be reached for the Turner case.

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