Mom "in shock" after army reservist dies in Goochland gun-play i - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Mom "in shock" after army reservist dies in Goochland gun-play incident

GOOCHLAND, VA (WWBT) -

A heartbroken community is preparing to say goodbye to a Goochland army reservist. He was killed one week ago, in what is described as a Russian roulette-style game. His mother is now speaking out ahead of this weekend's memorial service.

The family says a large military presence is expected at this weekend's memorial.

We now have the 911 tapes that shed light on what happened to 20-year-old Christopher Ryan Benson. He was known as Ryan to those closest to him.

"My friend has shot himself in the head," said the caller.

"Ok. On purpose or on accident?" asked the 911 operator.

"On accident," replied the caller. "I don't know. All I heard was a gunshot go off, and I looked over and he had fallen."

Benson's mother was still too emotional to show her tear stained face on camera, but she wanted share a few words about her son.

"I didn't want to believe it," recalls Melinda about the night she got the dreadful call. "But it was like in my heart I knew because I was getting calls from everybody."

Benson was sometimes called avatar because of his 6 foot 3 stature and his even bigger smile.

"Everybody loved him," said Melinda. "He didn't meet anybody that didn't like him. He had a smile that could just light up the world!"

That light was dimmed after police say Ryan and a group of friends, most of them underage, ventured down a dark winding stretch off Camelback Road for a fun night of drinking.

"Are you upset?" we asked mom.

"Yes. I'm real upset," she replied.

"What upsets you the most?" we asked.

"That someone was stupid enough to bring a gun," said Melinda. "And play stupid games."

"What was he playing with?" asked the 911 operator. "What kind of gun?

"It was a .22 pistol," said the caller.

"I'm just in shock," said Melinda. "He's not the type of person to do what they said happened, and I just don't understand."

Ryan's 9-year-old sister now wears her brother's wristwatch and dog tags.

"I'm just numb," said Melinda. "It was hard leaving the hospital, and knowing that he is never going to come home."

The family wanted us to note Ryan was an organ donor. The army reservist was planning to head to Egypt for training this year.

That memorial service is this Saturday at 4:30pm. It will be held at Goochland High School. That is located at 3250 River Road West.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • Victim identified in deadly triple stabbing in Richmond

    Victim identified in deadly triple stabbing in Richmond

    Sunday, July 23 2017 12:33 PM EDT2017-07-23 16:33:05 GMT

           Richmond police are working a death investigation after three women are stabbed overnight in the city's northside.        The stabbing happened just after midnight in the 3500 block of North Avenue.        Police aren't telling us much -- but can confirm three women were stabbed, and one of them died from their injuries.       As for the other two victims -- on...

    More >>

           Richmond police are working a death investigation after three women are stabbed overnight in the city's northside.        The stabbing happened just after midnight in the 3500 block of North Avenue.        Police aren't telling us much -- but can confirm three women were stabbed, and one of them died from their injuries.       As for the other two victims -- on...

    More >>
  • Man shot to death in Petersburg

    Man shot to death in Petersburg

    Sunday, July 23 2017 11:09 AM EDT2017-07-23 15:09:48 GMT
    Police are in the beginning stages of a homicide investigation, after a man is found shot to death in Petersburg Sunday morning. Officers say they were called to the 2700 block of South Crater Road, around 2 a.m. When they got to the scene, police say they found a man, who had been shot multiple times. That man, 53-year-old Samuel Gee, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police continue to investigate, and say they're speaking to witnesses who were present during the shooting. If...More >>
    Police are in the beginning stages of a homicide investigation, after a man is found shot to death in Petersburg Sunday morning. Officers say they were called to the 2700 block of South Crater Road, around 2 a.m. When they got to the scene, police say they found a man, who had been shot multiple times. That man, 53-year-old Samuel Gee, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police continue to investigate, and say they're speaking to witnesses who were present during the shooting. If...More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Still Very Hot Tomorrow, More Strong Storms Possible

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Still Very Hot Tomorrow, More Strong Storms Possible

    Saturday, July 22 2017 10:36 PM EDT2017-07-23 02:36:05 GMT

    Get the latest forecast from the NBC12 First Alert Weather team.

    More >>

    Get the latest forecast from the NBC12 First Alert Weather team.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly