Army recruit gunned down while sleeping in his own bed

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A recent Whitehaven High School graduate, who was on his way to the U.S. Army, was gunned down while sleeping in his own bed.

Wartario Franklin Jr.'s mother, Lutissue Marshall, said her son should have spent Tuesday undergoing a physical examination for his application to the U.S. Army. But hours before, someone opened fire into the family's house, killing Franklin Jr.

"He was getting ready to join the Army," Marshall said. "He was ready to get out of Memphis and take care of this family. That's all he talked about."

Marshall said she jolted out of bed around 2:45 a.m. Tuesday when she heard gunfire.

She immediately went to check on her three children.

"I heard Wartario calling me in a real soft voice, 'Mom! Mom!' When I got back there...He said 'Mom, I've been shot.'"

Franklin died in his mother's arms.

"He just got tired of fighting. He clutched the back of my head, and his eyes went into the back of his head and I knew he was gone," Marshall said.

The window to Franklin's bedroom is riddled with bullets.

Marshall said the shots were fired at a close range into son's bedroom from outside the home. She said the shooters even took the time to take off the window screen before pulling the trigger.

The person or persons responsible for the shooting remain unidentified.

Memphis Police Department said it is investigating all leads.

Franklin's mother said she just prays her son's friends do not retaliate.

"I just want his friends and everybody to leave it alone. Just leave it alone. Because it's not going to bring him back. It's not."

MPD has not released any details about the investigation. Officers have not named a suspect or listed any possible motives for the shooting.

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