Pain is a wonderful teacher, and in the Caribbean, few countries have experienced economic and social pain like Jamaica.
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Sando shooting victim brings 2016 toll to 462
Akim Gonzales had planned to spend New Year’s Day with his girlfriend Mary Britto and his family.
However, he did not live to see 2017 as he was shot dead near his relatives’ home on Saturday night.
Police said Gonzales, 22, of Old Tramline Road, Princes Town, was spending time with relatives at Lady Hailes Avenue, San Fernando.
At around 10.30 pm, relatives were told he had been shot and went in search of him.
He was found lying face down in a bushy area at the back of a plywood house near the San Fernando landfill.
He had been shot three times.
Supt Yussuf Gaffar, ASP Rohan Pardassie and ASP Ali Mohammed led investigators to the murder scene at a squatting community and interviewed several people there.
However, no suspect was held and a motive is yet to be determined for the killing.
Gonzales’ death took the murder toll for 2016 to 462.
At a friend’s home yesterday, Gonzales’ girlfriend said she last saw him around 9.45 pm when they were liming at a Princes Town bar.
She said he had an argument with some other bar patrons over “small talk” and left in a taxi and went to visit his aunt in San Fernando.
She later got a phone call from Gonzales’ mother, who told her to go to the hospital because he had been shot.
She was on her way when she got another phone call telling her to go to Broadway where she found out that he had died at the scene.
Britto said Gonzales grew up on Lady Hailes Avenue and had many friends and relatives there.
She said he was shot in the leg during a robbery at a Princes Town bar last year and had not been able to do any rigorous work since.
However, he had planned to buy a car this year to work.
“We were planning for the new year to see if he could get a job that he was able to do so he could buy a car and try to keep the family together.
“He always wanted children and we wanted to start our own family, but now he is gone.
“Today, we had plans of going by his mother for the New Year’s Day and spend it with his family in San Fernando.
“Every year since we were together, that is what we did.
“Whoever did this to him, it was unfair,” she said.