ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – 19-year-old Sammy Anaya III is being remembered as an ambitious young man.
A portrait of Sammy was painted on the outside of the 432 Barbershop on N. County Rd West today in Odessa. Sammy had been working there as a barber for less than a month.
“We’re going to put his face right here so we can always remember him,” said Henry Carrasco, owner of 432 Barbershop and Evil Ink Tattoo. “Sammy was a young, talented kid who was fixing to come up in life, do a lot of things in life, and had big plans for the future.”
Midland Police say Sammy was shot outside Kessler’s Hall in Midland on Saturday night during a rap concert, where artists got to showcase their talent. Sammy died from his injuries at the hospital.
Police say the suspect, 17 -year-old Greg Barrera III, is on the run.
“What happened to (Sammy) was tragic, and no one is going to get over it,” Carrasco said. “He was a guidance to other people, especially at a young age.”
To paint a picture of who Sammy was – he was an artist, an up-and-coming rapper. But, he was also a person who was polite and good to others.
Josh Brito worked with Sammy at 432 Barbershop.
“Ever since the day I met that kid, he was real respectful to others. Really driven, he wanted to learn everything about the trade,” Brito said.
Inside the barbershop, a memorial is in place. At Sammy’s booth, his equipment is still there. So are a dozen candles, each adorned with messages to Sammy.
“He wanted to do better with everything going on around him. Whether it was his hobby, or making music, or in his profession, he wanted to follow, he wanted to grow,” Brito said. “He was a good kid. It was a shock when I found out.”
Sammy’s father, his namesake, showed up to the shop, too. I asked him what he wanted people to remember his son by.
“He made it as a barber, he made it as a rapper, he was doing his thing,” said Sammy Anaya Jr.
If there is one thing that Sammy’s colleagues and his father could say to him, it’s this:
“One thing I’d tell Sammy right now is, he was a great kid and I could see him going further in life,” Brito said.
“Pray over your family, they miss you a lot, and we’re hurting everyday,” Carrasco said.
“I love him. I’m proud of him. He went out like a legend. He was doing his thing and I’ll catch up to him later,” Anaya Jr. said.
Sammy’s family is hosting a fundraiser in Midland tomorrow. They hope it will help cover some of the funeral costs. They have also shared a GoFundMe. You can find it here.