WATERLOO - An ongoing dispute ended in gunfire Sunday morning, killing a Waterloo man.
Police said Robert Vincent Robinson, 20, was shot to death in the parking lot of Uptown Lounge, 510 Mulberry St., shortly before closing time.
Robinson lived at 325 E. Eighth St., police said, and Iowa Medical Examiner Dr. Francis Garrity ruled his death was a homicide following an autopsy in Des Moines.
It is the first homicide of the year for the city, but the third in recent memory for Robinson's family.
One of his cousins, 20-year-old Martavious DeShaun Robinson of Waterloo, was shot and killed with another man on Thompson Avenue in September 2002, relatives said. Another cousin, Terence Dwayne Currington, also 20, was gunned down while he sat in his car on Adams Street in August.
Both of those slayings remain unsolved, and relatives said the killings aren't related.
As of this morning, Robert Robinson's killer remains at large, said Capt. Bruce Arends.
"We're still tracking down information and leads and still interviewing people," Arends said.
Friends and family said they never thought Robert Robinson's life would end violently. They remember him as a very smart young man who liked basketball and was close to his family.
He was the youngest of the family with three sisters and five brothers.
"He was always trying to be my big brother," said sister Karkisha Robinson.
"He was always smiling," said friend Kisha Gates.
Robert Robinson didn't have any children, but he was always being a big brother to his nieces and nephews, Gates said.
Born and raised in Waterloo, Robert Robinson briefly studied to be an electrician at Hawkeye Community College, relatives said.
Based on their preliminary investigation, police said Robert Robinson and the attacker were inside Uptown Lounge - which is located about two blocks from the police station - before the shooting.
Arends said there was a distrubance inside the establishment, but he didn't know if Robinson and the gunman were involved in that.
When the bar started clearing out in anticipation of the 2 a.m. closing time, the attacker shot Robinson in parking lot and fled.
Karkisha Robinson said she her brother was in an argument before the shooting. She was told her brother knocked the gun out of the assailant's hand after leaving the nightclub, but the attacker regained the weapon and shot him.
Arends said detectives are still looking into exactly what happened in the parking lot. He said the attacker was on foot but declined to say what type of gun was used or how many times Robinson was shot.