Fairfax County Police and Fire personnel were called to Fox Mill Elementary School shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 18. Upon arrival they discovered 14-year-old Bennett Rill of Herndon electrocuted and pronounced him dead on arrival.
Rill, along with two other 14-year-old boys and a 15-year-old boy are believed to have attempted to climb onto the roof of Fox Mill Elementary School via a shed and chain link fence on the school’s north side.
The other boys were transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police say they will likely not press charges.
A makeshift memorial, featuring flowers and messages to Rill, has been set up just next to the shed the boys were near behind the school, as well as in front of the school’s sign.
Mary Sheen of Herndon walks her dog along the path behind the school every day, and saw the flowers behind the school Thursday afternoon.
“As soon as I spotted the colors I realized that this must have been where the accident happened, and it’s easy to see the number of wires around that are very dangerous,” she said. “The story is absolutely devastating, especially when you see the people that came out to pay their respects. What a waste of a young life so filled with potential.”
Rill had just completed eighth grade at Rachel Carson Middle School. A vigil was held at the school Wednesday, June 19, where friends and teachers remembered him as outgoing, funny and an active athlete.
A Facebook page set up in his memory quicky had hundreds of community members posting their memories. Chris Pitura played basketball with Rill.
“He was always the first one in every single sprint we did, I don’t think I remember anyone beating him ever,” he said. “He was also always pumped for every single game, always screaming in the huddle. When we played sluggishly he screamed his head off for us to step it up. [He] was a great leader, player and most of all teammate.”