The bond between a mother and a son is indescribable. Renita Wells and her 15-year-old son Jaishaun Williams knew that all too well. However, at times Jaishaun felt as if he had to be his mother’s protector against his abusive father, 33-year-old Derrell Williams (also spelled “Darell” in some news reports).
Renita’s mother, Rachelle Wells, was all too familiar with the domestic violence that her daughter had endured. Rachelle even advised Renita to get a restraining order against Derrell because she could see how scared her daughter was of him.
On one frightful evening in November 2017, Jaishaun was out at his aunt’s house when his phone lit up. It was Renita begging her son to come home because she and Derrell were fighting once again. Jaishaun rushed home hoping that he could quell the situation and make sure that his mom wasn’t hurt.
Unfortunately for Jaishaun, Derrell wasn’t going to allow anyone in that house to escape his wrath. Police speculate that Derrell shot and killed his wife and his teenage son as Jaishuan stepped in to help his mother.
It didn’t take police long to catch up with Derrell, although they came upon him by chance. It wasn’t even an hour since he murdered his family in cold blood that officers spotted him driving erratically on the highway and pulled him over.
“[The] trooper initiated a traffic stop with his lights and siren, and the violator car immediately accelerated up to 130 miles an hour, to attempt to elude,” a Virginia State Police spokesperson said. “[Williams] turned off his headlights and approached another vehicle. [Williams] immediately swerved to miss the upcoming vehicle and then lost control, spinning out on the roadway. Once the car came to rest, [Williams] ran on foot leaving his vehicle in drive forcing it into an embankment around the 217 mile marker.”
A candlelit vigil was held on behalf of Renita and Jaishaun in front of their home just days after their deaths. Friends, family, and strangers, came together to mourn the mother and son, releasing purple balloons into the sky to represent victims of domestic violence.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, the National Domestic Violence hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They offer privacy, resources, and help to aid you in getting to a safe environment. Please call 1-800-799-7233.