RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The fatal shooting of a Richmond mother near Westover Hills School last week impacted the community, including staff at the school. On Monday, a Richmond church came together to comfort them.
On Monday, Oct. 17, around ten people from Westover Hills United Methodist Church wrote 90 cards for staff working at the school.
“We spent some time this Sunday talking about being present, being present to God, being present to the people in our community. And while we physically can’t be present in school during the day, we do things throughout the year to let teachers know that we’re praying for them, that we’re encouraging them,” Pastor Donna Holder said. “We send them welcome bags it’s just important for them to know that they’re supported.”
The school was put on lockdown last Friday after 26-year-old Imani Hill was shot nearby. Hill was shot after a fight broke out on the corner of Jahnke Road and Forest Hill Avenue. She was taken to a local hospital, where she later died.
“Part of what we did today was to talk about the emotions that come after an event like this whether it’s in our town or another one,” Holder said. “We tend to go to fear and want to batten down the hatches, so we wanted to have a time to process that a little bit from fear, anger and blame into some more productive. How do we respond? How do we make things better?”
The church partners with the school and has built a relationship with the people there over the years.
“I know some of those teachers, and so do the staff and congregation members,” Holder said.
Holder said that violence outside the school isn’t stopping the church from being a community partner, and they will continue to help out at the school festivals, tutor students, and have lunch with the children.
“I’ve worked with some of the kids and so they know who we are, and we’ve heard from them, and they appreciate knowing they’re supported and it’s not just them and their little bubble. They have the support of the greater community,” Holder said.