Slain Lynchburg artist remembered for his smile and upbeat attitude

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — “He had a book that he carried around with him,” said Carrie Robinson, “and he just wrote. Wrote, wrote, wrote.”

Wendell Morris, or Dell, as his fellow artists called him, was a poet and a rapper who found a community through Madison House of the Arts.

“I got to work with Dell and like take pictures of him making music stuff here,” said Chris Townsend, “and I can tell you from working with artists across the country and stuff, Dell had [a] passion for music.”

Morris was shot and killed in Lynchburg on Monday, Dec. 7. He was 29.

“The kid was talented,” said Townsend, “and you can see around his eyes, like, it’s almost like childlike because he has the mic to his mouth and he’s enjoying it.”

“He was a very fun person to be around, a lot of joking, smiling all the time,” said Robinson. “No matter what the situation was, he always kept his head up, and he was always positive about it, and he used his creativity a lot when he was going through bad times.”

“Still they giving us no justice, no peace,” rapped Morris in a video provided by Madison House of the Arts. “God they put me on this earth to be murdered by police. It’s a problem. We need the nation to stand up if we want to see Breona Taylor killers in handcuffs.”

Racial justice was a common theme in his work, said Townsend and Robinson.

“He wanted to make music that was about bridging racial gaps and making people aware of what was going on,” said Robinson.

“Another body slain in the street, and we be needing change, needing peace,” said Morris in the video.

“He was writing a story,” said Robinson, “and he was trying to build a bridge and try to create unity. It was positive.”

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