Russell is first shown in the film at the local baseball game talking with David until Rory Hamill shows up with a shotgun and threatens the players on the pitch Russell leads the community to safety while David handles the situation.
Russell is later at the mortician and informs David that both Peggy and Curt Hamill have arrived to visit the dead body and warns David that he shouldn't go to talk with them, but his attempt of stopping David fails.
The following morning Russell shows up for work and both he and David discuss Bill Farnum's strange behaviour; as the previous night he killed his family in cold blood.
Both Russell and David head to Hopman Bog to investigate the dead body of a pilot and discover an aircraft submerged underwater the two head to Mayor Hobbs house to warn him that the water might be dangerous, but their warnings are ignored so the two turn the water off without his permission.
Back at the station Russell and David find the body of Bill laid on the floor in his cell and go to investigate it, but Russell and David are attacked by Bill who suddenly springs back to life, but the cell stands between the deputy and Bill.
Russell saves David from Jim Finley's Bone cutter.
Later Russell is escorted by the Military to a local high school which has been quarantined by the military and he once again meets up with David. Somehow Russell is able to escape and heads back to the station to find Ogden Marsh in chaos.
Back at the station Russell grabs some supplies and his Shotgun and bumps into David and the two head back to the high school to save David's wife Judy whose fever has been mistaken for a symptom of the virus they find Judy and her assistant Becca tied up to tables and kill the infected Ben Sandborn. On their way through the city Russell tries to find a starting car, but to no avail and discover that the residents have turned into killers unable to find a vehicle the four head through the city where they cut through farmland and end up at Scotty's farm the group hide in the barn when Military personnel begin to hunt down civilians Russell is able to disarm an investigating soldier and attempts to kill him, but is stopped by David. The soldier informs Russell and David that everyone is a potential infected the soldier allows them to escape and the group continue their journey.
Back at David's house Russell is able to save David from the infected Curt Hamill who was moments away from killing David.
The two are able to repair a car and head out on the road only to be attacked by an army helicopter they flee into a car wash but are attacked by Infected; the infected kill Becca and the car is destroyed by the same helicopter.
On the road Russell destroys a passing SUV and kills the agent within who reveals the true nature of the outbreak David and Judy begin to suspect that Russell is infected because of his brutal behaviour while Russell is looking for supplies David takes his sniper rifle, but Russell is able to disarm David and holds the two at gunpoint forcing the two to continue ahead of him. On their way Russell empties the sniper rifle and throws it on the floor while continuing their journey Russell is disarmed by David and on the floor his nose begins to bleed he looks into the sky and begins to talk to David about the catfish that the two caught the previous summer and is able to convince the two to take him with them for a while longer.They come across a military blockade which stops the group from continuing Russell distracts the military who begin to shoot at him when he pulls out his gun he hides behind the car for cover and finally reveals himself but the military are able to shoot at him again and they surround his dying corpse and he is able to spit out his final words: "Fuck you, for what you did." the military shoot him one more time killing Russell once, and for all.
His sacrifice allows David and Judy to escape Ogden Marsh.