Students at McEachern High School in Atlanta are mourning the death of football star Rajaan Bennett, the victim of an apparent murder-suicide early Thursday morning.
Bennett, 18, had signed a letter of intent two weeks earlier to play football at Vanderbilt University.
Bennett's last post on his Facebook page was at 8:10 p.m. Tuesday.
Via mobile phone, he wrote: "Don't be scared."
Bennett, whose father died several years ago, was the oldest of four children and was considered to be the man of the house.
According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Clifton O'Neal Steger, a former boyfriend of Bennett's mother, is suspected of shooting Bennett and then turning the gun on himself.
Vanderbilt Head Football Coach Bobby Johnson had visited Bennett and his family in their Powder Springs home and believed Bennett died defending his family. "If you could see him interact with his mother, his brother and his sisters, you knew he was trying to protect them in the end," Johnson said.
A few days earlier, Bennett had written on Facebook: "I dare U 2 be yourself and not what people want U 2 be."
And just before signing day, when Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt were still fighting for his signature, Rajaan posted this: "When GOD created me he was showin off."
After Bennett's death, a friend posted this:
"This world is so cruel. The people who have the biggest hearts are the ones who suffer the most. For all you SICK, DEMENTED BASTARDS out there, know that you CAN'T bring God's people down. Rajaan Bennett will always live! HE will always LIVE!"
Click here for more on Bennett's death and its effect on the Vanderbilt community.