A body piercer at the Baltimore Tattoo Museum, 43-year-old Jim Forrester joined his bandmates from the heavy metal group Foghound as they performed there for a holiday party on Sunday.
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24 hours later, his life would end outside the business on Eastern Avenue when he stepped out to call his wife, encountered a pair of armed teens and suffered a gunshot wound to the chest as his wife remained on the other end of the line.
Tattoo Artist Adam Jeffrey worked with Forrester.
"Jim used to... him and his wife were definitely really into each other. They are very happy people and he would call her two or three times a day and he would step out on the steps and they'd have giggles and smiles,” recalled Jeffrey, “Whatever was going on there was sweet and he didn't like to do it in front of the guys."
They are fond memories now balanced with the stark reality that Forrester was murdered.
Following the fateful shot, the victim's wife called his co-workers to check on him outside.
"Our frontend manager performed CPR on Jim until the medics arrived,” said Jeffrey, “Yes. It's very hard... very hard to watch your friend coughing up blood and taking their last breath in front of you."
A bass player for a pair of popular bands, Forrester was rebounding from serious health issues that have now left his widow with substantial medical bills, and his friends have started a GoFundMe page to help out.
It's part of the untold challenge that comes with what will go down in the record as Baltimore's 334th homicide of the year.
"My reaction is the same as it has been for every murder in this city, whether it was a speed chase where I was at a police officer's funeral---too many illegal guns on the streets of this city," said Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh.
And now, one less person who brought music, art and smiles to a city much in need of all of them.
"The outpouring of support that has come through the last couple of days---it's indicative of how Baltimore is,” said Jerrod Sydnor, one of Forrester’s many friends, “We unite in tragedy and unfortunately it happens way too often, but at the same time, we never lose hope in ourselves and our friends and that's always good."
In Forrester's memory, Baltimore Ceasefire is scheduled to hold a vigil outside the Tattoo Museum on Sunday at 7pm, and a number of benefit concerts are in the works for January, including one across from the Charles Theater at Station North on January 6.