HERNDON, Va. (WUSA9) -Police have identified the 14-year-old boy who was killed after climbing on top of a elementary school in Herndon on Tuesday night as Bennett Rill of Oak Hill, Va.
Fairfax County Police said the four teens climbed onto the rooftop of Fox Mill Elementary School in Herndon, Virginia just before 9 p.m. on Tuesday. We're told they were on the back side of the school when 14-year-old Bennett Rill got tangled up in power lines there.
A tweet that we read from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue said he was dangling by that line 8 to 10 feet above the ground.
It is believed that Rill was electrocuted and was pronounced dead on the scene, a Fairfax County Police spokesperson said. Police say the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will make the final determination about the cause and manner of death.
"A couple younger kids were trying to climb on top of the school, and when you climb on top of the school there are like wires, people say there are like, wires to the side and they touched them, and one kid like got caught in them, and then he got electrocuted and his friends were trying to help him down, so they got electrocuted too. And then one kid was flown out, and the other two were taken away in ambulances," said a boy at the scene.
Two 14-year-old boys and one 15-year-old boy were taken to Fairfax INOVA Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, say police.
It looks like the power lines run from two temporary classroom trailers that you can gain access to through an alley near John Milton Drive. Crews are trying to secure the area in the back of the school, so no other children climb onto the roof.
Derick Rills, Father, "maybe he could have made a better choice but in terms of what he did with his life, I couldn't be prouder. He is everything you ever want in a kid, respectful, fun, played basketball out here. I want to make it clear, there is no one to blame, I don't care about blame. I care about carrying on his spirit.
I think it's important to remember Bennett in our hearts and what he did. And in some small way that might keep him alive."
Bennett's father, Derick Rills says his son was a straight-A student. Played basketball and football. Bennett had recently won a basketball championship (Braddock Road Youth Club).
His father says Bennett was helping a friend who was hurt when his son got tangled in the power lines and electrocuted.
Fairfax County Public Schools says grief counselors will be on hand for the rest of the week. This is the second death of a student from this school year at Rachel Carson Middle School.
Classmates just planted a tree in honor of 8th grader Chris Peterson who was murdered by his father in September.
The Rill family is trying to set up a memorial fun in their son's honor.
The school sent the following letter home to parents:
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I am greatly saddened to report that a student of ours - Bennett Rill - died last night in the tragic accident that occurred at Fox Mill Elementary. Bennett had just completed 8th grade at Carson Middle School. He was an excellent student and well liked by all who knew him and he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with the Rill family during this extremely difficult time. Three other boys were injured in the incident and two of them are also Carson students.
As I mentioned in a previous communication, we have initiated support from the FCPS Crisis Response team to provide students, parents, and staff with information that would help them to cope with their feelings of sadness and grief. Special counseling services are being made available to anyone who may be impacted and will continue to be available throughout the week.
A sudden death like this can have an effect on students. For that reason, we hope that you will listen to your son or daughter as well as discuss with them their feelings and reactions to this tragedy. We are taking every step we can to be responsive to the needs of our students and their families. Keep us informed if there are ways we can support you.
On behalf of all members of the school staff and students, we extend our deepest condolences to the Rill family and their friends. My thanks to all who have expressed their genuine concern for the family and for your continued support of Carson Middle School.