Popular tattoo artist remembered killed in Saddle Up Saloon shooting

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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Last month marked one year since the fatal shooting inside the city center Saddle Up Saloon. Several people were shot inside the bar, including Andy Sims, 30, who died at the scene.

Another person and the club’s security guard were also injured. Suspect Freddy Escobar Diaz has been arrested and charged with one count of murder and two counts of assault.

Meanwhile, Andy Sims was a popular tattoo artist – known as “Tattoo Drew”. His family and friends gathered Saturday afternoon not only to remember him, but also to share a message to end the violence.

“Insane… Too many insane… Violent gun crimes and deaths,” said Shawn Moore, owner of Brother’s Ink.

A heartfelt poem titled “Shades of Drew” – was read in tribute to his God-given talent. — “A self-taught magician of originality and flash — often tasked with turning a blank canvas into a mural.”

An artist all his life – Drew was employed at Brother’s Ink tattoo parlor in downtown Mobile.

“He was the very first artist here at a Brother’s Ink tattoo parlour. I met him – we clicked and bonded for months before I even found this place. And he was very impatient – impatient to come in and go to work. Because that’s what he loved to do, which was to draw,” recalls Moore.

Andy – as his family called him – was just beginning to flourish at the time of his death. Her stepfather says they are still going through a lot of firsts in their grief.

“Fast for a year…Slow to recovery,” said Steven Boyd, Drew’s stepfather.

The family continues to have chance encounters with people he touched.

“A young woman broke down on the side of the road – so I stopped to help her. We take her to the gas station and her mother shows up and she has tattoos. So we’re talking about tattoos and I mention my son, my stepson – and she says oh – Tattoo Drew – and I’m like yes And she’s like he got this tattoo And she had a joker face tattooed on her hand here that she could hold to her face like that,” Boyd said. “And it happened 3 or 4 times… It feels good to know he touched so many people.”

Drew’s workstation at Brother’s Ink is now a makeshift memorial where those who knew him best – leave behind messages on the walls. On Saturday, those messages were sent upwards with a balloon release — not only in remembrance of Tattoo Drew — but also the legacy he leaves behind.

Drew leaves behind a very large extended family, as well as two sons and a daughter.

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