RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The parents of a 3-year-old boy shot while playing outside of his home, say they feel they are living in a nightmare, while also thanking the community for honoring their son.
“The worst thing you probably could ever imagine,” explained Sharmar Hill Sr. “I hate to wake up and realize that this is really true.”
Hill Sr. shared a birthday with his 3-year-old Sharmar Jr. and says he was an answered prayer.
“He was a gift to me,” said Hill Sr.
Sharmar Jr. loved the character PJ Mask, his nickname was Simba, and his parents say he was a fan of superheroes. He turned 3-years-old on Nov. 1.
Saturday, Sharmar Jr. was shot and killed just feet away from the Hillside Court home he was being raised in. Little Sharmar was playing outside, with his older sisters looking after him when shots rang out on Southlawn Avenue.
“I cannot imagine having to live like this every day. I have to look out and think about bringing him in here - It’s just terrible,” said Sharmar Sr.
Little Sharmar’s 14-year-old sister rushed him inside of their home to safety, as his siblings called 911 for help.
Their mother, Shaniqua Allen was at work, and Sharmar Sr. says he was taking care of his mother in Farmville when they got the call that he had been shot, they rushed to VCU Medical Center to be by his side.
“They said mom, we need you to be in the room with him, then they said he didn’t have a pulse, they tried three times, I was holding his hand," explained Shaniqua Allen.
Allen describes the days following little Sharmar’s death as “crazy,” she says they all struggle day and night.
“My condolences goes out to anybody who has ever experienced this, I know it’s not the first time, but coming from a father having experienced this, we are definitely going to need the counseling," said Hill Sr.
Richmond Police Chief Will Smith feels the family’s pain saying, "we see far too often that our young people are choosing violence to resolve conflict.”
Children are being hurt or killed in the process. Last year during Memorial Day weekend, 9-year-old Markiya Dickson was shot and killed at a park in Richmond. During that same shooting, an 11-year-old was injured and survived. During that school year, 22 students in Richmond Public Schools were struck by bullets.
In the case of 3-year-old Sharmar, the chief is asking people with knowledge of the crime to speak up as he tries to change the culture of those who resort to violence to settle their disputes.
“You can just say ‘we agree to disagree’ and say ‘I don’t have to like you and you don’t have to like me,’ and go about your life and nobody has to die," Smith said.
The Hill family says the community has shown an outpouring of support and prayers, which they are grateful for.
Their goal now is to move away from Hillside Court to a new environment. Hill Sr. says Hillside is full of great people but says there are people from outside of the community who come in and bring ‘trauma.’
“You’re trying to find a way to make a better life, that’s all I rap about, trying to make a way for my family. I was trying to get them out of here,” said Hill Sr.
There will be a home going celebration for Sharmar Jr. on Monday, Feb. 10 at 12:30 p.m. at New Life Deliverance Tabernacle, on 900 Decatur Street.
Saturday, Feb. 8, United Communities Against Crime is holding a candlelight vigil for Sharmar Jr. in the 1700 block of Southlawn Ave. They’re asking the community to bring candles and red, blue and green balloons.
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