Local News

Slain Raleigh man's legacy of helping others lives on

Posted November 24, 2011 6:03 p.m. EST
Updated November 25, 2011 5:45 a.m. EST

— 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.