Perry reacts to Samuel Poss' murder

Perry reacts to Poss' murder

The support for the Poss family continued Thursday night as people in Perry gathered for a vigil.

Perry is the county seat of Houston County, and one of the main things it's known for is the Georgia National Fairgrounds. 

It's got a small town reputation -- a track record of a quiet, sleepy town not used to violence.

UPDATE: Arrest warrant has new details on Samuel Poss death

"It is quite a shocking event. It does prove there is no city in the world that's immune to such a tragedy," says Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Darlene McLendon.

She knows violence can happen anywhere, but this town hasn't seen a murder case in eight years.

"Perry is one of the few havens left where you know your neighbors, they know you.   It is one of the places that are dreamed of to raise their families," says McLendon

It's McLendon's job to sell the city. Criminal activity's not been much of a problem.

"We have ranked very high in the safest cities.  Will this affect that? Obviously, it will. However, again, I think there will be some acknowledgement that it wasn't random," McLendon says.

"It's just a small town. Very friendly. We normally don't have things like that occur here. Sort of upsetting for everyone," says pharmacist Ben Bartlett.

Bartlett says many of his customers had the Poss family in their thoughts Thursday.  

"Pretty much been an ongoing conversation all day, upsetting for everyone," Bartlett says.

It's maybe more upsetting because it's so rare.  

Bartlett opened up shop on in 2002. 2008 marked the last murder investigation in Perry.

Bartlett says, "I've been open 14 years and there was nothing like that before then, so it is unusual."

Downtown, flyers are still stuck to the trees asking folks to keep an eye out for Sam. McLendon says the town will pull together.

"To have it not be random, which is disturbing in its own way, at least it doesn't shake the roots of protection of being in a small southern town," McLendon says.

It has been confirmed that Sam was a member of the band and played percussion. 

One part of the community that's hurting is Perry High School.

According to Houston County Schools, Sam Poss graduated from Perry High School this spring, and Brandon Warren is currently a student there.

Dakota White attended Perry High until last October.

We reached out to the school district and to Principal Wesley Martin, who declined to speak to us, but one school employee told us that grief counselors came to the school to help deal with the shock.


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