The Pride event typically draws tens of thousands of people to Atlanta each year from across the country and even out of the country.
According to a preliminary police report, Robinson was shot and killed at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday and found lying in the middle of Hadlock Street. No motive or suspects have been identified.
Carlos Campos, spokesperson for the APD, said questions have arisen if the department is investigating the shooting as a hate crime.
“We’re exploring all possibilities,” Campos told the Georgia Voice. Senior Patrol Officer Patricia Powell, the LGBT liaison for the APD, is also aware of the incident and is in constant communication with community members, Campos added.
“The Atlanta Police Department’s Homicide Unit is investigating all possibilities concerning the shooting death of Durand Robinson in the early morning hours of August 25. It has reached no conclusions or made any determinations on whether this case will be classified as a ‘bias crime.’ Homicide presently has no suspects or significant information on a motive, but is actively pursuing several leads. We cannot comment or speculate further, due to the ongoing nature of the investigation,” Campos added in a statement.
Avian Watson, spokesperson for Traxx Girls, a organization that caters mostly to the black lesbian crowd, said she loved Robinson and will miss him greatly.
“He was a good and hard worker,” she said.
The parties and events for Black Gay Pride will continue despite the loss of Robinson and Traxx Atlanta plans to dedicate the weekend to his memory.
“More than anything, he wanted us to all be together. This weekend [Black Gay Pride] we are going to celebrate him and his life. He was about unity and giving and that is what this weekend is about,” Watson said.
Watson said Robinson loved Traxx, a mostly gay party and promotions company, “because he loved people from all walks of life.”
“He was very selfless and would do anything at any moment for anyone,” she said.
“[Pride] weekend is about giving back and that is what he was about. He was always giving of himself. His life was about unity and giving.”
Traxx and Traxx Girls have dubbed their Black Gay Pride weekend of parties and events “Pure Heat,” that will attract such stars as Ciara, Amber Rose and Nicki Minaj.
Gerald “G” Thompson, an organizer with Traxx, said the loss has devastated the Traxx family and the entire community.
“Because Durand was such a caring, kind, divine and great man were dedicating ‘Pure Heat 2010 — Atlanta’s Black Pride Weekend Celebration’ to his loving memory. Durand’s tragic death has devastated us all, but the community’s motivating words, overwhelming love, prayers, and sympathy has given us the strength to carry on,” he said.
Traxx co-founder with Robinson, Philip Boone, also said Robinson was a giver.
“We lost a dear friend and a special friend to the community,” he said. “He was a giver. If there is a definition of a good Samaritan, Durand was a good Samaritan. We will miss him greatly. He cherished people and loved everyone.”
Boone also advised people take time to time to talk to others around them as Robinson did.
“When you’re standing next to someone, take the time to talk to them. Durand talked to everyone.”
In the Life Atlanta, the official organizer for Atlanta Black Gay Pride, issued a press release Wednesday saying its board of directors and volunteers mourn the loss of Robinson and will remember him at the annual candlelight vigil on Sept. 1.
“The board and volunteers of In the Life Atlanta mourn the death of Durand Robinson of Traxx Atlanta. His light will be missed, but his spirit and the shared memories will live on in our hearts and the hearts of his family, friends, loved ones and those in the community who knew him. We offer our sincere condolences to the Traxx Atlanta family,” the press release states.