BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UPDATE: The memorial service for 8-year-old Royta Giles well be held Wednesday, July 8 at 6:00 p.m. at Bessemer Recreation Center.
Royta’s funeral will be at Bessemer Civic Center Saturday, July 11 at noon.
Riverchase Galleria is paying for the funeral.
ORIGINAL: We’re learning more about an 8-year-old boy who died Friday afternoon after a shooting inside the Riverchase Galleria.
Royta Giles was a student at Jonesboro Elementary School in Bessemer. Bessemer City Schools released the following statement after his death:
Bessemer City Schools family mourns the loss of student
It is with deep regret that we announce the tragic loss of Jonesboro Elementary School student, Royta Giles Jr. (pronounced Roy-TAY Jyles). The young child was killed during a shooting this afternoon at the Riverchase Galleria Mall in Hoover.
School administrators have been speaking with the child’s family members and offer support as they grieve the sudden and difficult loss. “Our hearts are simply broken at the tragic loss of Royta. We are here for the family in every way possible, and we ask that everyone lifts the mother, family, and our school community in your prayers. This is tough,” says Bessemer City Schools superintendent, Dr. Autumm Jeter.
Royta Giles was heading to the 3rd grade this fall. Principal, Dr. Anjell Edwards, and staff describe him as a smart child, who was a jewel, with big dreams of someday entering the music industry. “He was bright, articulate, and very convincing. We even tried to convince him to become a lawyer,” says former assistant principal Mr. Van James.
The school system will remain available and continue to support those within the Bessemer City Schools family by all means possible to help them through this time. Meanwhile, those without immediate relationship to the family are asked to be sensitive to this tragic situation.