Murdered Mechanicsville teen laid to rest

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - As dusk falls, Bethlehem Lutheran Church fills and fills.

Friends and family gathered to say goodbye to 16-year-old Brett Wells, murdered by a gun shot this weekend.

"He was a great kid, great student, great friend," said Anna Wells, Brett's sister-in-law. Her husband Michael stood next to her, Brett's brother.

Family members say the way Brett died hits especially hard. Three teens have been charged in connection with Brett's death- all charged with murder.

"He murdered my son in cold blood. He did it deliberately. When you bring a gun to somebody's house, you are going to intend to kill somebody," said mother, Shannon Wells.

"For these kids to have a gun and come into somebody's house and kill them? They can't take it back," said Anna Wells.

Wells is the second teen in just two months to be killed by a gun in Hanover County.

Jyreffe Clark died in December in what some are calling a gun accident.

"The gun was given to my client and he never handled a gun," said John Luxton- a defense attorney for one of the charged teens. "And they're all excited with the music going and it accidentally goes off."

A 17-year-old was charged with murder in that case- two other teens also face charges.

Deputies in Hanover County say the two events are undoubtedly tragic, but not an indication that gun use is on the rise in the county among teens.

They say crime rates in Hanover County are actually far lower than in surrounding areas- especially serious crimes like shooting deaths.

They say each of these cries was isolated, a really unfortunate coincidence, but not a reason for the community to be alarmed about a wider safety problem. Still, Wells' mother says she hopes the loss of her son will wake up other parents.

"I think we need to be more vigilant on these kids," said Wells. "I think guns are falling in the wrong peoples hands and that's not fair."

At this point, deputies won't comment on where the teens in either case got the guns.

But they point out that there area number of people in the county who decide to own guns.

And if you're 18, you're of age to own one.

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