Rajaan Bennett’s future was full of promise: just two weeks ago, the McEachern star RB signed to play football at Vanderbilt.
But early this morning, Bennett was shot to death in an apparent murder/suicide at his family’s Powder springs, Georgia home. Police say Clifton O’Neal Steger, 39, a former boyfriend of Bennett’s mother, shot Bennett during a domestic dispute before turning the gun on himself.
A third man inside the home was also shot, but his injury was non-life threatening.
“I’m standing here in a daze,” Steger’s mother, Gladys Steger, told the AJC when reached by phone at her home in Milledgeville.
Police arrived at the home around 2:30 am, about four minutes after someone inside the home called 911 and whispered they needed help. As officers approached the front door they heard four or five shots from inside.
Immediately after the shots were fired, Narjaketha Bennett, 37, and her brother, Taiwan Hunter, 32, who was wounded in the gunfire, ran from the house. Two teens emerged from the home shortly afterwards. They were not injured.
When officers entered the home, they found the bodies of Steger and 18-year-old Rajaan Bennett.
Hunter was undergoing surgery just after daybreak Thursday at Atlanta Medical Center, police said.
School officials held a news conference this morning to discuss what Bennett meant to the school.
“We have a population of 2,200 kids, and when you’re Rajaan Bennett, you touch the lives of all 2,200,” principal Regina Montgomery said.
She said counselors would be at the school to help students with the grieving process, but, “We don’t know what we’re going to do tomorrow, we’re just trying to get through today together.”