‘He always had the biggest smile’: Remembering Aiden Williams
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Ryan Gillin
Teammates and friends of Aiden Carter Williams gathered to pray and remember the 8-year-old who lost his life along with his mother early Thursday morning.
Aiden was shot to death Thursday morning alongside his mother, 29-year-old Derika Shanice McGhee. Both were killed by 34-year-old Darrin Lamar Patton Jr., who then took his own life.
“He was one of those kids that I mean the first thing you noticed about him was his smile,” said Todd Payne, Aiden’s baseball coach.
Aiden’s teammates’ parents recalled fond memories of their children playing with Aiden on and off the basketball court and baseball field.
Aiden’s neighbor Rindy Hodges remembers him for his enthusiasm and good nature.
“He was full of life,” Hodges said. “He just lit up a room. He could bounce off the walls and was just full of energy just all of the time.”
When tragedy comes unexpectedly like this, it’s hard to deal with at any age. This group of parents wants to talk to their children about what happened–to help them cope and process the information they heard.
As the children were led through prayers, they were reminded to pull together and lean on one another during this difficult time.
“It’s OK not to be OK all the time,” Hodges said. “It’s OK to have a moment when you’re weak and a moment when you just need to cry. We all have them, and even at 8 years old, it’s OK.”