Mother defends murdered son at prayer vigil

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - Shannon Wells and hundreds of friends gathered Monday night to remember 16-year-old Brett Wells. He was shot and killed in his Mechanicsville home Saturday night.

Three teens, Da'Von Byars, Kevin Drayton and Xavia Highsmith are charged with his murder.

Investigators say the trio stopped by the Atlee High School student's house to steal marijuana. They say a fight started and Wells was shot in the chest.

Hundreds filled New Song Methodist Church to remember Brett Wells. A 16-year-old said to be incredibly charismatic, family-oriented and hard working. He hoped to go to VCU.

Sobs echoed through the church as pictures of Brett were shown. It's the same pain that has plagued Brett's mother, Shannon Wells, since the moment she came home Saturday night to squad cars.

"I knew right then and there that my son was dead, " said Wells.

When the chaplain pulled up, she says that was her confirmation that her son was gone.

Shannon Wells says it's possible her son may have used marijuana and she didn't know it, but she insists he is not a dealer.

"My son is not a drug dealer. My son is not a drug dealer and that's what they're saying," said Wells. "He's not a drug dealer. My son is a loving, church-going child."

Wells said she sat outside the house for hours, waiting for news she knew would break her heart. She says she knew one of the accused killers, Kevin Drayton. He came over to her house twice and lifted weights with her son.

"If I have to spend my entire life and my money, they will pay," said Wells. "All three of them and they will go to jail and they will stay in there for the rest of their lives."

And in these darkest moments Wells finds light in the students who remember Brett the way she sees him. And in knowing her last words to him were just right.

"I told him I loved him. I said have a good time," said Wells. "I'll see you in a little while and I love you. And he said I love you too mom."

Shannon Wells tells us six kids were at her house the night it happened. Another victim, one of Brett's friends, was shot in the hand.

Wells tells us the two of his friends did CPR on Brett for 30 minutes until help arrived.

Brett's funeral is Tuesday night at 6.

It will be at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Richmond, at 1100 West Grace Street.

At this time, Wells says she can't go home. It's just too painful.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.