Friends hold celebration of life for man shot, killed outside BJ’s Restaurant in Winston-Salem

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Despite it being one of the hottest days Winston-Salem had seen in 2019, hundreds of people stood outside Union Baptist Church Tuesday afternoon to pay their respects to Julius “Juice” Sampson Jr.

“It was worth it,” said Jacqueline Harrison Myers. She had watched Sampson grow from the moment he was born, to the moment he started to have children of his own.

Sampson was shot and killed outside of BJ’s Brewhouse a week earlier in Winston-Salem.

Police investigators said he and his alleged shooter, Robert Granato, got into an argument that moved out into the parking lot.

Authorities said Granato shot and killed Sampson.

Witnesses said that Sampson had tried to defend a waitress that Granato had harassed.

“He was a hero,” said one of his childhood friends during Tuesday’s celebration of life memorial.

The three and a half-hour long service consisted of memories being shared of the father of three and talks about finding the strength to forgive.

For others, like Myers, it was a chance to show the amazing help Sampson provided to everyone in his life.

“He was a good person, that’s all you can say,” Myers said. “He was just a good caring person. That was the Juice. He was just a caring person. He gave from his heart. It was not from his lips. It was from his heart.”

Everyone was asked to dress in all white by the family.

One of those many people who Sampson helped, Addie Lewis, said it was a perfect representation of his ascent into heaven.

“All the people got on white. I think that’s really pretty," Lewis said. "I think he is going to heaven. Everyone got on white. He got wings. He’s flying.”

His church home announced during the service that they will leave a vacant seat in the pew for the next 30 days.

His wife Keyia also asks people to visit the several organizations that her husband was a part of:

  • @thetriadidocrew - an Instagram page that helps newly married couples to connect.
  • @supremelegacybarbershop - an Instagram page for his barbershop.
  • The Tutor Boss - which is a newly form mentorship program that Sampson had not yet had the opportunity to create a social media page for.
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