Mother of slain teen says, "Hug your babies. Hug them tight'

Shannon Williams, whose son William was shot and killed in school, shares her grief


Shannon Williams experienced a tragedy this week, losing her teenaged son, William.

On Friday, Shannon Williams thanked the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, community for its support after the shooting inside Mount Tabor High School that took the life of her son, William, on Wednesday.

She shared the grief and heartache of losing her oldest son so suddenly.

She says Sept. 1 started with William waking up late for school and constantly replays that morning in her mind.

"I said, 'William, why you going? It's 10 o'clock?' He said, 'Mom I can still make it to second period.' I said, 'No don't go.' I kept all my kids at home... I felt it," Shannon recalled. "I kept all of them out and he wanted to go to school."

After learning about the shooting, she said she became worried when William didn't answer his phone.

"Hug your babies," Shannon said. "Hug them tight. Tell them you love them every chance you get."

About 100 people paid tribute to William Chavis Raynard Miller Jr. at a local park. Balloons were released in his memory and a prayer service was held.

The community also put on an event Saturday morning called "Guns Down, Lives Up" which addressed gun violence.