TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The walls of a classroom at Foster Elementary School are marked with artwork made by teacher’s aide Rene Williams.
“That was the painting that she did, an oasis,” said teacher Valerie Broner, pointing to the painting.
Williams will be remembered for that and so much more.
“I’m going to miss hearing her say, ‘now Ms. B!’ I’m going to miss just having my partner here with me. She was very instrumental in my classroom and I’m going to miss her very much,” Broner said Friday.
Williams’ focus at Foster was with 2nd and 3rd grade students with disabilities.
“Let me tell you, she was an advocate for the children. She loved the children,” said Robin Parker, the school nurse.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Williams was shot and killed Wednesday night at the Westchester Apartments in Brandon.
Deputies arrested Richard Miller, 49, and charged him with first-degree murder. He was found less than 24 hours after the crime at a home in the Sulphur Springs section of Tampa.
8 On Your Side learned Williams lost her granddaughter around a month ago. The little girl drowned.
“It just took a toll, and to see the kids here, she tried to remain strong but you could see that it was weighing on,” Parker said.
Now, her co-workers are dealing with their own grief after a beloved teacher was taken in such a senseless act.
“I’m gonna miss her,” Parker said. “She was a good person.”