Slain man's family asks public for help

March 12, 2009 6:29:50 PM PDT
The family of a murdered Richmond man is asking for witnesses to come forward to help with a case police say has so far produced few leads.

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The mother of 21-year-old Marcus Russell appealed to the public to help police find her son's killer.

"If you were able to get a glimpse of the shooter, a license plate number, anything, please notify the Richmond Police Department," said the victim's mother Faith Russell.

Russell was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon as he and a female passenger drove east on Interstate 580 near the Marina Bay Parkway exit.

According to witnesses, a red or burgundy full-size van pulled up to Russell's Nissan Maxima and fired at least 10 shots.

According to a family friend, the day before he was shot, Marcus Russell expressed concern about a red he thought was following him.

Charles Evans said Russell came to see him in downtown Richmond Monday afternoon and they both noticed a red van, circling the block.

"And he told me this red van was following him. I made him stay inside, I got a glimpse of the car as it turned the corner," said Evans.

Police told ABC7 they are investigating Evans' account.

Russell performed as a rapper under the stage name Little Smacka. His first CD was released last month. His family says Russell's music helped turned his life around.

"I'm not saying he had never had a run in with the police, because he had. But he saw that was not the way to go," said Russell.

"My brother is still a legend. No matter what, my brother's going to live on forever. People will remember Marcus," said the victim's sister Ashley Russell.

Russell is survived by his one-year-old daughter, Marlani. His family says proceeds from his CD will put into a trust fund for her.

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