Vigil held for 4-year-old as Maymont reopens

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The sounds of normalcy fill the air at Maymont Park after Thursday’s deadly storms that killed a young boy.

Shawn Wills and his father John were both running for cover Thursday when strong winds swept through Maymont Park causing a poplar tree to fall on the 4-year-old, killing him.

“This is a very tragic time.  We obviously have focused our attention upon sympathy for the family first, but we are having to deal with our own emotions over this event,” Norman Burns, Executive Director of the Maymont Foundation, said.

Burns said they followed their severe weather policy to a T by closely monitoring weather and storm alerts and evacuating the park to get everyone out safely.

CBS 6′s Sandra Jones asked Burns if they plan to change their severe weather policy due to Thursday’s events.

“The Maymont Foundation is continually looking at all of our policies and procedures and always consider the things that we need to change based upon any situation that we face,” Burns said in response.

In Maymont’s re-opening on Saturday, more than a hundred people gathered near the deadly scene to remember Shawn Wills through songs and prayers in support his family.

“I pray that God would strengthen them during this time of loss and that he would bring peace to them,” Coretta Kingston said.

Davis Cook, a friend of the Wills family, told CBS 6 that the child’s father injured on Thursday’s weather event is still recovering at the hospital and could be released as early as Sunday afternoon.

The Pentecostals of Richmond, the church that the Wills family attends, will hold Father’s Day services.  We’re told the service will be very emotional.

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