Man thinks his brother was gunned downed in Fayetteville while walking to friend's house to shower

Monique John Image
Thursday, June 13, 2024
Deadly Fayetteville shooting suspect denied bond
The person charged in the killing of a Fayetteville man who was homeless just made his first court appearance in Cumberland County.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The person charged in the killing of a Fayetteville man who was homeless just made his first court appearance in Cumberland County.

Nick Russell tells ABC11 his older brother, Willie Russell was kind and hardworking person, eager to support others when he could.

"I miss the amount of support that he would give to everyone. He wasn't really the type of one that just sits here and you know, judge people."

Russell said his humble big brother was trying to get his life back on track after falling on hard times--struggling with drugs and his mental health. He said those struggles led Willie to living on the streets, staying in a tent behind this Fayetteville church.

"It was a little bit of a downhill as you know, time goes on, and some things happen," Russell said.

Willie Russell died Mother's Day in 2024. In court Thursday, an assistant district attorney said Markeith Rushing was caught on home surveillance footage shooting Russell multiple times as he walked up the street. Rushing then continued to shoot Willie after he had fallen to the ground.

A judge denied bond for Rushing. He faces charges for first-degree murder, first-degree conspiracy and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Nick Russell believes his brother was walking to his friend's house to take a shower. He worries the violent attack was ultimately a dispute over money.

"It hurts to see everybody, you know, hurting and going through these challenges," he said. "I just wish that it didn't go this way."

Russell said the detective with Fayetteville Police Department working on this case told his family the department is still looking for another individual who may have been involved with the shooting. Investigators wouldn't confirm or deny that update when ABC11 inquired about it.

The next court date in Willie Russell's homicide case is July 2.