Dead teen's family asks 'Why?' - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dead teen's family asks 'Why?'

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From Robert's Facebook page From Robert's Facebook page
The family grieves for  Robert 'Eric' Purvis The family grieves for Robert 'Eric' Purvis
Shanna Moore Shanna Moore
Purvis' mother Angela Jenkins Purvis' mother Angela Jenkins
Randi Liebau  is one of the people organizing the vigil Randi Liebau is one of the people organizing the vigil
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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  We're learning disturbing new details about the murder of an Albany High School senior. He was shot point blank three times for no apparent reason.

Robert Purvis' girlfriend and her daughter were there when he was murdered Sunday morning at a carwash on Mock Road in East Albany.

19-year-old Robert Purvis was called Eric by his family. It's a close, loving family that is still trying to find some kind of meaning in this terrible tragedy. Now that 28 year old Brian Beasley has been arrested, the family says they want to know why.

28-year-old Brian Beasley made his first appearance before a Judge Tuesday, charged with murder and motor vehicle theft. Prosecutors say Beasley was sitting in his car at the Splash and Dash Car Wash Sunday about 11:30, when 19-year-old Robert Purvis walked up to the car window, and without a word was shot three times.

His girlfriend and her daughter were washing their car in the next bay. "He went and got some change and brought me about half of it back. And he said "Baby I'll be right back.' Said 'I love you,' and gave me a kiss," said his girlfriend Shanna Moore.

Moore said she and Purvis drove both their cars to the carwash Sunday morning. He parked his prized new Pontiac Sunbird, which he had bought just days before, behind her car, and walked to the next bay.

"And I heard three gunshots," Moore said. "Not thinking exactly what it was. And I seen Beasley walk into Eric's car, go the driver's side door and look straight at me."

Beasley drove away in Purvis' car. Monday morning Police stormed the motel room where Beasley was hiding out. They arrested him and recovered the gun.

Today Purvis' parents, brother, and girlfriend mourn him. "He was everything a mother could want. Loving, affectionate, strong, caring," said Purvis' mother Angela Jenkins.

While finishing his senior year at Albany High, Purvis had already enlisted in the Army and gone to some basic training.

 "I didn't realize how many friends he had until this happened. Our phone ain't quit ringing since this happened. Our front door looked like Walmart," said Purvis' stepfather Tim Jenkins.

The murder was captured on the car wash surveillance video, with many witnesses at the car wash. But the family still has one question.

"I want to know why. Why Eric? Maybe we will find out. Because he didn't deserve that," Moore said.

"They can't explain to me why this happened, and that's the one thing I want to know, is why," Angela Jenkins said.

Prosecutors say Beasley is not talking, and the surveillance video shows what happened, but not why. Purvis's parents say they know their son did not know Beasley.

Friends of Robert Purvis are planning a candlelight vigil to honor him. Working through Facebook, Purvis' friends have scheduled a candlelight vigil at Hilsman Park this Saturday at 6:30.

Randi Liebau was a longtime school mate and friend of Purvis, and is one of the people organizing the vigil. "To show that we all love and care about him. To show respect for him. To show, he is going to be in our lives everyday, no matter what."

Friends and family say anyone in the community is welcome to come celebrate his life.

Albany High officials say they will award Robert Purvis' parents his diploma at the school's graduation in May, and the family says that is very special to them.

Purvis' body was taken to the crime lab in Moultrie. His parents are now talking with Army officials about his funeral, to see if some kind of military honor can be included. Beasley remains in jail without bond.


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