1 Year Later: Family and friends reflect on the shooting death of Helping Hands Mission volunteer

ByJamiese Price WTVD logo
Monday, August 1, 2022
Family, Friends Reflect on Death of Helping Hands Mission Volunteer
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Sunday marked one year since a Helping Hand Mission volunteer was shot and killed in Raleigh.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Sunday marked one year since Helping Hand Mission volunteer Charlie Debnam was shot and killed in Raleigh.

Police said the 31-year-old was caught in the crossfire when two people started shooting at another vehicle. Witnesses told ABC 11, that Charlie was walking back to Helping Hand Mission after grabbing a drink from a nearby convenience store on Rock Quarry Road when he was shot.

One year later Charlie's family and friends gathered at his memorial site where they reflected on the past year without him.

Charlie's older brother William said the last year has been frustrating and painful. His other brothers and mother, Pamela Debnam, stood with him at the memorial site.

"We are taking it one day at a time," said William.

Pamela became very emotional while reflecting the loss of Charlie.

" I thought I had forgiven the guys but I'm so angry. So, pray for my strength that I can forgive them for that day because it's just not far. He was doing what he loved to do and it happens that way," she said.

While emotions were raw, Debnam's family used today to share more about the type of man he was and the life he lived.

"One thing the community knew was CiCi has a family. He was a great Samaritan," Charlie's older brother Terrell Debnam described. "He helped a lot of people. It's been hard on us but like my mother told me, it never gets easier you just find ways to manage," he said.

Charlie served as a drum major for the Helping Hand Mission marching band. Organizers said the marching band struggled with the loss of their leader following his death. Other volunteers described him as a great leader and brother.

Raleigh police arrested and charged two people in connection with Charlie's death. His family is awaiting a trial date. Police said Charlie was not the intended target in the shooting.

The family has managed some of their pain through prayer and reflecting on the memories they shared with Charlie.

"If you need something done, he was the person you called because he would get it done," said Tanya Debnam, Charlie's sister-in-law. "As long as you had a heart, he had a bigger heart to guide you through whatever you were going through.