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Terrell Residents Shaken By Five Murders

Jack Fink, CBS 11 News | CBSDFW.COM
(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jack Fink
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TERRELL (CBS 11 NEWS) – Mark Williamson says he already had a good idea about the mood in Terrell only hours after five people were murdered in this city of 16,000 people.

But he says he was surprised customers greeted him Tuesday morning when he opened his gun store in the middle of town.  “When I got here, there were people waiting outside, and I mean considering the times we live in right now, people, they’re scared. They’re scared for their safety.”

While Terrell police say this was an isolated incident and that the suspect knew four of his five victims, Kaufman County has been no stranger to high profile crimes in 2013.

Kaufman County DA Mike McLelland, his wife Cynthia, and his top assistant, Mark Hasse were shot and killed earlier this year.

Speaking at a news conference this afternoon, Terrell’s Mayor Hal Richards praised police, and sought to reassure residents..  “I don’t think any of our citizens would link these events. This is just an isolated person, and this could have been anyplace.”

That doesn’t make the news any less unsettling for some residents.

Sandra Baumann moved to Terrell from Dallas 12 years ago to be in the country,.   “It just feels like all the stuff from Dallas is just coming further east. Where can you go now?”

At Java Junkies Coffee Bar and Bakery, news of the five murders proved to be a far stronger jolt than anything on the menu.

Owner John Patterson says, “It impacts everybody. On our Facebook page, we have a lot of comments and prayers for the families.”

R.W. Sledge and his wife Charlyne moved from Plano to Terrell in 1984 to get away from the growing city in favor of the country.   He says, “It’s pretty unsettling.”

She says, “It’s hard to believe. I never thought I’d be that close to danger.”

Despite the news, the couple say Terrell is a great place to live, and the murders don’t change that.

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