Shooting Spree Leaves Alabama Firefighter/EMT Without Wife, Son and Two Family Members

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Lance Griffin
Dothan Eagle, Ala.

Mar. 13--SAMSON -- It was going to be a great weekend for the Wise family.

Murray and Tracy Wise would have celebrated their 18th anniversary on Sunday. Their simple, private celebration may have included pleasant memories of the past 18 years such as their last family vacation to Gatlinburg, or all the way back to 1990, when Tracy quit school in the 10th grade to marry the man she loved.

For Murray and his 15-year-old son, Dean, the weekend would extend into Monday, the first day of turkey season.

Fund Established
According to WTVY, Murray was a volunteer with the Samson Rescue Squad as well as the local fire department. The squad set up a special account at: Samson Banking Company Inc., 2 West Main St, Samson, AL 36477.For more information about the fund, you can contact Melissa Stinson at 334-248-3663.

They loved to hunt. Even before Dean was old enough to hunt, father and son would go into the woods, sit and watch. They would try to remain quiet, but sometimes Dean and Murray would talk about Alabama football. A full day without a deer or turkey kill was never a wasted day for the two.

But Murray Wise is planning funerals today instead of anniversary celebrations and hunting trips and wondering why a crazed gunman would take away his family.

Wise stood outside his home Thursday afternoon, less than 30 yards from where Michael McLendon shot and killed his wife and son Tuesday in a crazed killing spree. He said he can still stand only because of the prayers of friends and strangers. Still, he literally clings to his sisters for support.

"The 15 years I had with my son and the 18 years I had with Tracy were good, but I need more," he said.

"I'm lost without (Tracy). She kept me alive."

Tracy Wise was simply known as "Tator" to the Samson community, and everyone knew her. To Murray, Tator had the strongest will in southeast Alabama. After quitting school in the 10th grade, she acquired her GED and put herself through law school at the University of Alabama. She later became the town's magistrate and struck fear into the hearts of the town's lawbreakers.

"People were afraid of her if they had to go in front of her because they knew she would put them in jail," Murray Wise said.

Murray Wise was working just below the state line in Florida on Tuesday when he received the call that buckled his knees and crushed his world.

"I just broke down," he said. "I couldn't stand up."

He will bury his wife and son Tuesday in Samson. He plans to establish a scholarship fund in the name of Dean Wise for deserving local students.

"I want their names to be in this community for as long as I'm around," he said.


Copyright 2009 The Dothan Eagle
The Dothan Eagle (Alabama)
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News

To see more of The Dothan Eagle or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to Copyright (c) 2009, Dothan Eagle, Ala. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

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When will the killing stop

God bless them! Stay strong brother! I'll keep you and your family in my prayers
on behalf of the Davis FD we extend our prayers.
My thoughts & prayers go out to him
Rest in Peace to all who lost thier lives in this horrific event.
mywife and I are praying for Mr. Wise and his family. Hope and faith is what is needed to stay strong in god. Our prayers are with him.
Stay strong, Murray...they're in a far better place now. My prayers be with you.
Murray, I am sorry for your loss. My prayers for you and your family.
i have informed the members of my station about this situation and want Mr.Wise to know that him and his family are in all of our thoughts and prayers. I know there is no way that it will help but i hope the person or people who did this will be punished to the furthest extent of the law!
My thoughts and prayers go out to Mr.Wise. May god be with you and help you at this time in need.
Good question John...good question....
May God hold you close to his heart during time of loss. Thoughts and prayers are with you form
your other family of Firefighters.
i am so sorry for his thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved

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