Local News

Slain Raleigh man's legacy of helping others lives on

Posted November 24, 2011
Updated November 25, 2011

— Family and friends of a man killed inside a Raleigh restaurant more than five years ago spent Thanksgiving serving up free meals to the community.

Glenn Mitchell, owner of the Circus Restaurant on Wake Forest Road, and volunteers on Thursday cooked up enough side dishes to go along with two dozen 20-pound turkeys.

It's the sixth year that Mitchell and the family of LeRoy Jernigan have been providing food for people in need on the holidays.

Jernigan, 41, died June 3, 2006, after he was shot during a robbery at the restaurant where he was working overnight as a cleaning contractor.

Those who knew him say Jernigan, a husband and father of two, was a man with a big personality and even bigger heart who was always helping those in need.

"LeRoy was such a giving person, and he actually was involved in this type of thing before," his wife, Sherri Jernigan, said. "He would have just loved the fact that this was done to bring something good out of something that wasn't good at all."

Food that wasn't eaten was delivered to hospitals and to homeless shelters in the area.

Samuel James Cooper, 34, was convicted last year on five counts of first-degree murder in Jernigan's death and the deaths of four other people. He is serving a life sentence at Central Prison in Raleigh.

3 Comments

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  • twc Nov 25, 12:31 p.m.

    This is a wonderful way to celebrate Mr. Jernigan's life. I hope it continues every year.

    I see no purpose for Cooper being kept alive. He destroyed the lives of many good people.

  • billfranrichardson Nov 25, 9:45 a.m.

    It is a wonderful thing that Glenn Mitchell and his Church do for those in need, or who just need a place of fellowship on this day. It was a pleasure to help prepare the carry-out meals and to deliver them. Yes, it was started in memory of Mr. Jernigan, but what a legacy this restaurant has started.

  • computer trainer Nov 24, 6:26 p.m.

    I am so glad that the owner of Circus does this, but it is a crying shame that the killer of this good man and 4 others is sitting in Central Prison and probably will be for another 50 years. He was 29 when he committed these crimes. He could not have gotten a job? Or was he just too lazy.

    LeRoy Jernigan, may you rest in peace. and to Glenn Mitchell and Mr Jernigan's family, thank you for caring.