HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — A celebration of life was held on Sunday in High Point for a pastor who was shot and killed earlier this week.
Robert Booth, a father of a 2-year-old and recently ordained minister, had just proposed to his girlfriend when he was gunned down outside of his High Point home on Tuesday.
Friends of the 25-year-old say he died Tuesday night preaching the word of God.
“I want people to know that it wasn’t a drug deal gone bad. It wasn’t him being at the wrong place at the wrong time. It was just Robert being Robert, helping, and his life was ended like that,” said Brandon Smith, a friend of Booth.
High Point police confirm there is a connection between someone close to the victim and suspects in another killing. They believe it’s retaliation after the high-profile shooting on Eastchester Drive in April.
Booth saw a vehicle police described as a burgundy Nissan Rogue, with a model year approximately 2008-2010, cruising through East Village Apartment Condominiums on Ardale Drive.
“He just went out to help, to try to find out what was going on,” Smith said.
Two male suspects wearing ski masks were reportedly inside the vehicle.
Booth’s loved ones said at some point, he started sharing the word of God with them.
“He believed in street ministry. He would go to the corner where the homeless were and just minister to them and just feed them, practically give you the shirt off his back,” Smith said.
Minutes later, 911 calls started rolling in about gunshots in the area.
“Can you send me a police to 304 Ardale Drive? Somebody has been out here shooting,” a 911 caller explained.
At least one of the bullets struck and killed Booth.
“The boys is running towards the hotel. They got black masks on. It’s two boys. They shot (inaudible). They look like they’re about 15 to 16 years old,” said one 911 caller.
Surveillance video from a nearby store shows the vehicle involved in the shooting coming down Greenview Terrace.
Less than three minutes later, police arrived at the scene.
Booth’s neighbors are shocked.
“Trying to preach the word to the people and then they just shoot him anyway, I believe it’s sad,” neighbor Melissa Jones said.
What’s makes this tragedy tougher is knowing Booth’s son and fiancée no longer have him to lean on.
“There is — never will, never be another Robert Booth,” Smith said. “To the guys [who did this], you didn’t even give him a chance to live. You didn’t give him a chance to be that husband, to be that great father. You took his life before it could even begin.”
Police are still looking for the two suspects that were last seen driving that burgundy Nissan Rogue.
If you have any information, you’re asked to contact HPPD or Crime Stoppers.