‘My heart is broken:’ Hundreds gather for vigil to remember mom and son killed

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- There was an outpouring of love and support at a vigil Wednesday night for an Henrico mother and son shot and killed.

Hundreds of purple balloons representing domestic violence awareness filled the sky, and candles lit the yard in front of the home where Renita Wells and her 15-year-old son, Jaishaun Williams were found shot Saturday morning.

“This is the hardest pill to swallow,” said Wells’ son and Williams’ brother John Pettaway. “This right here, I wouldn’t put this on nobody.”

When officers responded to a 911 call in the 4200 block of Fayette Circle just after 12:50 a.m., Henrico police found the two "suffering from obvious signs of trauma."

Jaishaun Williams and Renita Wells

Wells died at the scene. Williams, was wounded and transported to an area hospital where he later died of his injuries.

“My heart is broken,” said Wells’ father Eddie Wyatt. He thanked the hundreds who came out to support his family at this difficult time as he expressed his love for his daughter.

“That was my baby,” said Wyatt. “I love all my kids but that was my baby right there,” he tearfully added.

"She loved her kids. She was a fun person; everybody loved her,” Rachelle Wells, Renita Wells’ mother, said. “She didn't do nothing to nobody, she didn't deserve this.”

John Pettaway (Middle)

Less than an hour after the shooting, Virginia State Police arrested Derrell Williams on I-64 in New Kent after troopers said he ran from them.

Wells' family and police sources said Wells and Williams were married and that the violence was domestic-related.

"I just told her the other day to get a restraining order on him because she was afraid,” Rachelle Wells remembered.

Williams’ 17-year-old brother spoke of his last conversation with his brother Thursday in class at Highland Springs High School.

“’I’m going to end up beating up Darell bro,’ Pettaway explained Williams told him. ’He been acting crazy,’ he added. I never thought that would be the last time I talked to my little brother,” said Pettaway.

Pettaway said his brother was supposed to be at their aunt’s house but came to their mom’s house after she reached out to him.

“My mom was texting him and kept calling him like ‘where you at, I need you to come home, me and Darell are fighting,’” said Pettaway.

Pattaway said his brother died protecting their mother.

“I’m real proud of him. I just wish it ain’t have to end like that,” he said. “In my heart they still here. I’m going to live it up for them so they still here through me.”

Pettway said his mom and brother will live on through his music.

The viewing will be held Friday from 1-7 p.m. and a celebration of life Saturday at 11 a.m. at Saint Paul’s Baptist Church, 4247 Creighton Road, Richmond.

Eddie Wyatt

Investigators have not charged Derrell Williams in the double homicide although they are not looking for suspects.

Wells is survived by two other sons, one of whom is one year old.

Her extended family grieved Sunday and recalled memories of Jaishaun's style.

Beyond their pain, the Wells family urged others to reach out if a relationship shows signs of serious trouble.

"If you are in an abusive relationship, please get out of it, get help,” a family member pleaded.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, click here for resources from the Virginia Department of Social Services.