Henrico man killed in Alabama tornado

Marcus Smith
Marcus Smith

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – The tragedy in Alabama is hitting close to home tonight. We've learned a Henrico native is among the hundreds killed in last week's tornadoes.

21-year-old Marcus Smith was found dead among what was left of his college apartment in Tuscaloosa. His friends are family are hanging in there and say reality will set in once they are at his funeral this weekend.

His parent's are just now returning from Tuscaloosa where they had the heartbreaking task of identifying his body. The junior at the University of Alabama was killed after a tornado swept through the town of Tuscaloosa.

"You know it's sad and you feel bad for the people but when it happens to a loved one, someone you know well it just really shocks you," said Smith's preacher, Ed Barnes, at the Chester Church of Christ.

For those who knew Smith, the shock came twice.

"Robert Smith called and said they've located Marcus' body," said Barnes. "Well about noon the next day Friday, he called back and said it was a case of misidentification. They continued searching for Marcus' body and they didn't find it till Sunday afternoon."

Smith's mother Jackie, took to Facebook the moment she found out her son was among the hundreds of victims.

"I have been waiting on God to show me where my son was and he did today," she writes. "I am hurting deeply but I know that he is in heaven with my God."

The Tucker High School graduate was like an older brother to many of his church friends who describe what they'll miss about his the most.

"Everything," said friend Libby Barnes. "Just the way he was so...he just always had something nice to say to everyone."

"I miss his smile and his personality," said friend John Barnes.

"I will miss my beautiful boy," his mother adds. "His voice, his smile and we will miss all that he was to us.

Smith's pastor tells us his funeral is set for this Saturday, May 7th at noon at Nelsen Funeral Home on South Laburnum Avenue. He'll be buried at Rose Lawn in Glen Allen.

(c) 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.