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'An outpouring of love': Laurens County rallies behind 16-year-old murder-suicide victim

The teen involved is making a full recovery, and the mother of one of his friends decided to start several fundraisers for him.

LAURENS COUNTY, Ga. — On February 7, the Laurens County Sheriff's Office says a man killed his wife, shot his 16-year-old stepson, and set their house on fire before taking his own life.

Russell Graham, the teen involved, is making a full recovery, and the mom of one of his friends decided to start several fundraisers for him.

His football coach, Kagan McClain, and the friend's mother, Rena Williams, both describe him as a teen with a positive attitude and a loving heart, and that's why it's easy for them to lend a helping hand when he needs it most.

"When tragedy strikes such as this, It's really a good thing because everybody comes together, so there's just been an outpouring of love," Williams said.

Rena Williams watched Graham grow up alongside her son since they were both in middle school.

"He doesn't meet a stranger, and he's going to be the kind of kid that he's going to grow up and he is going to give back to the community, just like they are giving to him right now," Williams said.

Williams started three fundraisers for Graham --  a GoFundMe page, another selling $5 bracelets that say, "Our Superman, Russell Graham," and lastly, she opened up a checking account for him to pay for all his senior year expenses  

However, folks in the community have already started showing their support, "Through monetary donations, there have been supplies given to us for helping the cleanup of his home. There has been clothes being bought for him," Williams said.

Sports are a huge part of Graham's life.

"He's a football star. He has wrestled in the past. He was on our track team. I hope none of that is diminished from what he has gone through," said Williams.

His football coach Kagan McClain says he loves having players like Graham on his team.

"He's just a great character kid. I mean, he's one of those guys that never misses practice. He's always making his workouts, you never have to worry about his dependability, always has a smile on his face," McClain said.

He continued, "He's not only dealing with the physical recovery, but with the emotional side of this thing as well, so when you can take off some of that burden of worrying about paying for things and seeing your dues and all of that, I think it's just a good thing."

Graham's junior prom is coming up in April and the community has already taken care of all those expenses.

"Knowing that his mom has passed away through this, and the home is completely unlivable, I just hope there are good days to come," Williams said.

 Williams says some people have really invested in Graham's story and want to see him succeed. She says they want updates on him when he's a senior and even when he gets to college.

You can donate to the GoFundMe account here.

Credit: 13wmaz
Credit: 13wmaz
Credit: 13wmaz


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