Classmates meet midfield to honor slain east Tennessee cheerleader

(Courtesy: WATE)
(Courtesy: WATE)

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LEWISBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – The Knoxville Central High School Bobcats were on the road playing Marshall County High School for week four of high school football playoffs, but students took time Friday to remember their classmate who was shot and killed.

Before the game, cheerleaders from both schools met at midfield to release balloons in memory of Emma Walker.

Emma Walker (Courtesy: Anesia McDonald via WATE)
Emma Walker (Courtesy: Anesia McDonald via WATE)

In the student section, classmates also wore purple armbands in her honor.

To Donate: Emma Walker Memorial Fund

Walker was found at her home with a gunshot wound. A Maryville freshman football player, William Riley Gaul faces charges for first-degree murder.

A crowdfunding page was set up to help Walker’s family. The donations will go toward a fund set up for Walker’s parents Mark and Jill at Regions Bank. Also, deposits can be made at any branch location.

Investigators believe the suspect fired into the teen’s bedroom from outside the home while she was sleeping. Gaul was arrested at the Woodlands Apartments on Cherokee Trail and is being held on a $750,000 bond at the Knox County Jail.

Investigators believe Gaul was trying to destroy evidence related to the investigation.