Hundreds mourn slain Grayson teen

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Classmates and friends were among the hundreds who gathered Friday night to remember the life of a popular 14-year-old boy.

About 200 people, many with tears in their eyes, attended a vigil at the Wade Walker Park football field in Stone Mountain where the teen used to play.

Paul Sampleton was found dead in his family's Grayson home on Haynescrest Drive Wednesday afternoon. A police report said he was restrained or tied up when his father found him shot to death on the kitchen floor.

"It's coming too close to home. If you can't be safe in your own house where can you be safe at all?," the victim's friend Raymond Wilkins said.

"It's like we talked to him the other day and we just still can't believe this happened," said Isaiah Malcome.

Paul Sampleton's former recreational league coach organized Friday's vigil. Teammates signed helmets in the teen's honor to give to his family.

Wilkins brought a poster filled with messages for his friend. He and many others at the vigil are asking why someone would take his life.

 "They took a best friend. They took a person who didn't deserve to go,"  Malcome said.

Gwinnett police are investigating whether Paul Sampleton's hobby of selling shoes online could be a motive.

The victim's family held each other during the service, at which his former coaches announced they will be retiring his jersey number from each of his three teams.

Attendees said they'll forever remember the teen for his warm smile and upbeat personality.

A memorial service will be held Dec. 27 at Gregory B. Levett & Sons Funeral Home on 914 Scenic Highway in Lawrenceville. Sampleton's funeral will be held Dec. 28 at Holsey Temple CME Church on Washington Avenue in Macon.

A scholarship fund has been set up at Wells Fargo, account number 1079054548. The fund will assist students who want to attend college and play football.

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