07/19/07 — Service planned for Friday for boy

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Service planned for Friday for boy

By Lee Williams
Published in News on July 19, 2007 1:46 PM

Eight-year-old Andre Wilder of Goldsboro was a jokester who always had a big smile on his face.

His mother Shenita Wilder-Dancy says he was a sweet child who always tried to make her proud.

That's how friends and family will remember Mrs. Wilder-Dancy's son at funeral services this week. Andre was fatally shot at about 3 p.m. Tuesday with a gun he found near his home at 310 Robson Circle.

He had began to play with the weapon when his brother, 12-year-old Kris Wilder, tried to intervene. As the older boy struggled to take the gun away from the 8-year-old, it fired, fatally wounding Andre.

Goldsboro police and Wayne County EMS responded to the home at about 2:50 p.m. and found Andre unresponsive. He was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital, where he later died.

Family members say the incident was an accident.

But it remains unclear just where the gun came from. The family said they did not own a weapon.

"Somehow, they found a gun," Andre's grandmother Brendia Wilder said. "I don't know how it came into their possession."

Mrs. Wilder-Dancy, who works for Central Prison, and her husband, Darin Keith Dancy, a correctional officer at Neuse Correctional Institute, were at work when they learned about the shooting.

Andre might be gone, but he will never be forgotten, his mother said.

Mrs. Dancy-Wilder said she loved all her children, but Andre was her "pride and joy."

Friends and family will gather at 1 p.m. Friday at Philadelphia Community Church to say goodbye to Andre at his memorial service. Visitation was set for 4 to 6 p.m. today at McIntyre Funeral Home.

And while Mrs. Dancy-Wilder is struggling to come to grips with her son's death, she knows he is OK now.

"Andre came in this world in a rush. He was premature," Mrs. Dancy-Wilder said. "And he left in a rush. But he's better now. He's in a much better place."