‘I’m going to keep his name buzzin’’: Bellwood community honors the life of slain Richmond DJ

Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 1:54 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Hundreds from the Bellwood community dressed in purple and white and descended on the Charlie Sydnor Community Park on Richmond’s southside to mourn and celebrate the life of a beloved Richmond DJ Monday evening.

Director of United Communities Against Crime Charles Willis organized the vigil.

But unlike the countless memorials he’s led over the last two decades, this was one hit especially close to home.

“It’s really devastating to the heart. I’ve done prayer vigils and counseled families for over 28 years now. I’ve never cried, but Sunday morning I was crying,” Willis said, visibly shaken. “Saturday morning I was in tears.”

According to Chesterfield Police, Brandon Robertson was found unresponsive with a gunshot wound just after 8 a.m. Saturday inside of a vehicle in the 3300 block of Old Courthouse Road.

Willis was particularly vulnerable, weeping as he described the relationship he had with Robertson.

Willis says he mentored the 29-year-old, along with his brothers and his father Jermaine, in the art of DJing from the time they were very young.

“He was like a son to me,” Willis said. “I called him a son and he called me pop. It was a son and dad in the music business.”

In addition to many of the family and friends who showed up during the Monday night vigil, many were also DJs.

They shared stories about how he loved being able to share his passion for music with the crowds that he played for.

“That man loved to DJ! He used to have the setup in my bedroom,” the mother of his children, Cynthia Robertson said. “I’d be trying to sleep, I was pregnant, throwing up and he’d be mixing those BPMs like ‘ooh I got this, how you do you like it?’”

“I would ask him ‘why do you call yourself Beezy?’ and he would say it stands for being busy,” Willis laughed.

Robertson’s vigil was every bit a reflection of his love for the art of DJing. Robertson’s younger brother Lewis “DJ Fatboy " Robertson described what it was like performing with his older brother.

“He hit one turntable I hit the other, he mixed the other, I mixed the other,” Lewis laughed. “He turnaround and did something with his back and I said ‘now I’m too fat to do that!’”

“We may not have been related, but he was my brother,” another DJ said. “All I’ve got to say to Beezy is that we ain’t stopping bro I’ve got you!”

Those who knew the 29-year-old best say that one of the highlights of his career was being able to perform music for Mayor Stoney and former Governor Ralph Northam during National Night Out.

Robertson’s two children were also at the vigil, RPS elementary student Ta’Miyah Robertson and her brother Lewis Brandon Jr who is just a few weeks old.

During the vigil, Ta’Miyah mustered up the courage to speak in front of those who gathered and said if she had one wish, it would be to give her father a big hug.

“My dad is my ride-or-die! He was always there for me and my little brother,” Ta’Miyah said. “He always said he had our back no matter what happens.”

As the vigil concluded, Robertson’s father Jermaine pleaded with the crowd not to maintain the peace in his son’s honor asking for patience to let the justice system work itself out.

“Let the police handle their business,” Jermaine said. “Let the justice be that way because I don’t want anything to happen to none of y’all. I don’t want to be out here again.”

“Y’all pray for us and keep us in all prayers and I’m going to keep his name buzzing, y’all just sat tuned,” Lewis said.

Robertson’s family and the local DJ community hope to establish a nonprofit in his honor that aims to keep kids from turning to violence by teaching them how to DJ.

Anyone with information about this shooting is asked to contact the Chesterfield County Police Department at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660 or through the P3 app.