‘She was a wonderful human being’: Family friend remembers victim in North Knoxville shooting

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — She was the victim in what police are calling a possible road rage incident. Tamaralynn Russell, 38, was shot during the violent encounter on North Central Street last week.

Officers said on Monday that the mother of two died from her injuries.

Her family members are heartbroken by what happened, so much so that they weren’t ready to talk on camera. But a family friend spoke about Russell on their behalf.

“I want the world to know that Tammy was a great person and loved her children very much,” said family friend Angela Ricciardi.

That’s how Ricciardi is remembering Russell – a mother, sister and daughter.

“She was always worried about her kids, Blake and Alyssa. They’re her life. Even her family, she always ‘how you doing? How is mom? Make sure sure mom is ok.’ That’s how it always was,” Ricciardi said.

She also said one of Russell’s primary passions was her family, but also told us some of her other favorite things to do.

“She loved the beach, reading, swimming with her kids, phone calls with her best friend, which was her sister Ashley,” Ricciardi said.

Russell lost her life following a shooting last week, and after police say doctors did all they could to save her.

“She was a victim of a horrible act of violence, but she was a wonderful human being,” said Ricciardi.

That’s why those close to her were left stunned and hurting.

“No parents should have to lose their child. So my heart breaks for all of them. Her children are heartbroken, and this isn’t how it should be,” Ricciardi said.

Still, loved ones are vowing to carry on Russell’s legacy and never let her be forgotten.

“I think that she wouldn’t want us to stand still. I think she would want us to continue living life, especially for her children. Be there for them. That’s what our main thing is, is the kids. We’re just going to continue living for her, through her, and hopefully maybe God’s grace we’ll see her again someday,” said Ricciardi.

Russell’s sister also shared this message: that her family loves and misses her, and she says her sister didn’t deserve this.

Knoxville police have identified Paul Foutner as the suspect in this case. He’s now facing an upgraded charge of first degree murder.

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