Father: Son was electrocuted while helping friend

WASHINGTON – The father of the boy who was electrocuted at a Herndon elementary school Tuesday night says he was told his son was trying to help a friend when he came into contact with an electrical wire.

Derick Rill says his 14-year-old son, Bennett James Rill, was killed Tuesday on the roof of Fox Mill Elementary School in the 2600 block of Viking Drive.

Rill says his son had finished his last day of middle school Tuesday.

Fairfax County police spokesman Officer Don Gotthardt tells WTOP that four boys — one 15-year-old and three 14-year-olds — were on the grounds of Fox Mill Elementary School shortly before 9 p.m. when at least one of the boys came into contact with an electrical wire and was shocked to death.

The boys reportedly came into contact with the wires when they climbed a roof at the school.

Rill, of Oak Hill, Va., says police told him the boys were climbing a fence and used the wire as leverage to get onto the roof. He says Bennett went to help a teen who had fallen when he got tangled in the wire.

Rill was pronounced dead at the scene and the three others were transported to Fairfax Inova Hospital with injuries that were not life- threatening.

Gotthardt tells WTOP that homicide detectives were on the scene working to determine the exact chronology of events.

“Concern at this point is the well-being of the parents and the well-being of the other three children that were transported,” says Gotthardt.

While detectives were interviewing the boys to determine why they were on the grounds, Gotthardt says there was no indication they were trying to break into the school.

“There’s no evidence that anybody attempted to enter the school — just a tragic accident,” Gotthardt says.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.


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