Richmond man returns to church after being shot

RICHMOND (WWBT)-  It was just a little more than two weeks ago that a Richmond man was shot while on his way to church to practice in the choir.

Donald Vann survived that scary night and today returned back to Woodville Church of the Nazerene, where his church family was there to welcome him back with open arms.

Donald has every reason to be scared, sad or even angry.

"I don't want to get mad," he said. "I want to but, anyway I thought I'd be happy."

His pastor, Charles Tillman is not surprised by his positive attitude.

"He is not a man of a lot of words, he doesn't say a lot," said Pastor Tillman. "But if you need Donald, Donald is going to be there."

Donald was trying to "be there" two weeks ago. He was walking alone to his church for choir practice. Four teens jumped him, one flashing a gun that he fired. Donald was left to scramble into the church parking lot looking for help.

"I am glad to see that he has not let that deter him and he has come back to church," said Tillman.

Sunday morning he was back at what is essentially the scene of the crime. His presence is a signal that this church will not be scared away by criminals working to bring the neighborhood down.

"We believe that this is where God has put us and we are committed to this community and making it a better place," said Pastor Tillman.

"Donald comes whether it is raining outside, if it is snowing. I can always count on Donald to come. If we are having an event and we are needing someone, Donald is always willing to volunteer."

Perhaps Donald's positive outlook will have an impact on the entire community.

"We don't want that (the shooting) to be a reflection of the community we have a lot of wonderful people, a lot of families in the community," Tillman said.

And no matter what, Donald will always be there.

Donald did not sing this morning, his choir was not schedule to perform. His recovery is going well, although one of the bullets used in his shooting is still in his body -- too close to a vital organ to be removed.

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