WARRENSBURG, Ill. (WCIA) – On the night before Thanksgiving, a woman died after she was shot in her own home. Now, her small community is coming together to support the four children she left behind.
“It’s hard to imagine that something like this would happen, ever. It’s hard to imagine that it happens here, down the street,” Game Time Graphix owner Tricia Campbell said.
Several people called 9-1-1 Wendesday night to report hearing gunshots in Warrensburg. When police arrived, they found 41-year-old Tabitha Lourash dead inside her home, and her husband barely responsive.
“This came out of nowhere. This was a tragedy that happened early in the evening on Wednesday night,” Village President Kirk Riley said.
In the original news release, the Macon County Sheriff’s Office called it a “possible domestic violence situation.” On Monday, Sergeant Matthew Reynolds confirmed Lourash’s husband is the sole suspect for her murder. He was taken to the hospital for a gunshot wound police believe was self-inflicted.
Riley says his close-knit village is devastated, but they’re stepping up to take care of their own.
“When these things happen in such a small community, it has a larger impact,” Riley said.
According to Tricia Campbell, “everyone knows everyone” in Warrensburg. She’s one of several business owners in the area who want to support Lourash’s family.
“When I said: ‘I want to help but I don’t know how…’ the most common response was, ‘same. I’m feeling the same way. I want to help but I don’t know how. Tell us what we can do,'” Campbell said.
She and her husband decided to sell t-shirts with the words “Warrensburg strong” written in the school district’s colors. They plan to donate all the proceeds.
“We came up with a design, launched an online store and we had probably 50 sales in the first couple of hours,” Campbell said.
That number quickly jumped to almost 200.
“It’s just hard to put yourself in their shoes and it’s hard to imagine what they’re going through,” she said.
By wearing the shirts, the Campbells hope Lourash’s children will know the village is thinking of them. Orders can be placed through their online store.
“Also, all that money for whatever they might need – whether that’s Christmas or expenses, or their education. Just knowing that they’ve got tough times to face and we’ll help any way that we can,” Tricia Campbell said.
The village opened a donation account for the family at Buena Vista National Bank, and Riley said they raised $2,000 in just a day. An online fundraiser has already raised more than $4,000.
“We have four children involved in this who didn’t have a say in how their life was going to be changed forever,” Riley said.
If you’d like to help out, you can bring donations in person or mail them to the Warrensburg Village Hall at 155 E Main St., or to Buena Vista National Bank at 450 E Main St. The money will go to the “Lourash Family Assistance” fund.
Two other businesses – Warrensburg Cafe and 121 Coffee Run – will be accepting donations for the Lourash family.