A local high school is trying to cope with the death of a teenager who just graduated a few months ago.
Tuesday, we told you about a son murdered and two parents wounded - all at the hands of a relative. We sat down with the young man's former coach to remember the legacy he leaves behind.
Often, teachers and coaches can look at a student leaving high school and know they're headed for trouble. Folks at Tattnall County High say Malik Murphy was the opposite. He had a bright future ahead of him. They never expected something like this to happen, especially from in his own family.
The tone remains somber. Coach Nick Tatum heard the news in the parking lot Tuesday morning from a school resource officer.
"I made him tell me twice because I just didn't want to believe it," Coach Tatum said.
Murphy was shot to death and found inside his parents' home. His mom and dad were also wounded. A relative is facing murder and other charges. Coach Tatum says Murphy was a model student and athlete.
"Malik was that kind of kid...high character," the coach said.
Sounds like he was the kid you point out to others and say, "be more like him."
"It was a blessing to know him, a blessing to be around him," Tatum said. "I loved him like my own son."
Tatum called a team meeting immediately to break the tragic news.
"They have questions. They want to know...to know why," the coach said. "I told them there are things we can't explain; there are things in life that we're not supposed to understand. Only one that understands is God."
He says players and the rest of the school will carry on with Malik as their role model.
"We practiced that day. Was it the most productive practice? No. Was there an overhanging cloud? Yes, but I know Malik would want us to keep going, and that's what we're going to do."
Funeral arrangements for Malik haven't been finalized yet. School leaders are still looking at how best to remember this young man through those.
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