HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — On Thursday evening, more than 100 people gathered at Short Pump Elementary School to mourn Abdul Bani-Ahmad, the 9-year-old boy killed in Friday night’s quadruple shooting.
A 14-year-old boy, Rahquan Logan, also died. Two men were critically injured.
Those driving on Henrico’s Pump road will see “Forever Our Stinger, Abdul” on the Short Pump Elementary School’s marquee. Stinger is the school’s mascot. It’s a symbol of support and love from the school to the Bani-Ahmad family.
A few dozen feet away from the sign on Thursday night, classmates, school staff, and area families gathered outside the school to remember Abdul Bani-Ahmad.
“Today I stand giving this speech knowing that a family has been broken,” a cousin of the young boy told the crowd. With candles in hand, members of the victim’s family took turns speaking to the crowd.
“He will never be forgotten and the memories we made with him will never leave our hearts,” his cousin told the crowd.
Another family member spoke out, saying something needs to be done about the gun violence problem in Richmond. “I don’t want to lose another family member,” he said.
Earlier this week, Bani-Ahmad’s family told 8News that this is the second family member they’ve lost to senseless gun violence in Richmond. In 2019, Ashraf H. Mahasees, a clerk at a convenience store on Midlothian Turnpike, was shot and killed during a robbery, just days before his 24th birthday.
Bani-Ahmad is one of two children shot to death on Friday night. The young boy was outside of his family’s convenience store in Richmond’s east end when shots rang out. Earlier this week, the family explained that Abdul was leaving with his father but forgot his bag of chips inside the store. He ran to go get them and as he was running back to get inside of the car, bullets started flying and he was hit in front of family.
Thursday night’s vigil began with prayer. “Oh god, make him an emissary in heaven, on behalf of his parents,” the man leading the prayer said.
8News spoke one-on-one with the 9-year-old’s uncle, Ahmad Ali, afterward.
“His parents were working themselves to the limit to give him a good life,” he said.
Ali added that his nephew was wise beyond his years and helped his parents with whatever they needed.
“He’s nine years old but he acts like he’s 20,” Ali said.
As the family tries to heal, Ali said they’re asking god for strength.
“I hope he will be in a better place. I hope that god will give the family the patience because this is going to be hard to forget,” he told 8News.
Jana Bani- Ahmad, the victim’s young cousin, said she’s longing for more sleepovers and fun days with her cousin already.
“I really miss him a lot,” she told 8News.
She said the big turnout on Thursday night just goes to show, “he is loved by a lot of people because he is a very very special person.”
Another vigil was held on Wednesday night for both of the young boys killed in the shooting. Four people have been arrested in the crime.
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News for updates.