The family of murdered athlete Josiah Patrice is hurt by the callous comments of the person who recorded a video of his body lying on the roadway.
Jennifer Hamilton, who considers herself his adopted mother, said the comments were even more disturbing than seeing his body.
“To the people who were in that video, that was hate at the highest level. And the words that were used were inhumane and gross. He has a mother, a family, a team, friends and people who cared for him,” Hamilton told Guardian Media.
Patrice, 23, a member of the Stallion Athletic Club, was fatally shot on Thursday. According to police, around 12.15 pm a labourer was driving along the Connector Road, Gasparillo, near the Brian Lara Stadium when he saw Patrice kneeling in the middle of the road. He stopped and Patrice asked for help, saying, “They now shoot me, help me out of the sun.”
Patrice walked a short distance away and collapsed in a grassy area on the edge of the road. The police followed a blood trail that led to eight 9mm shells. His wallet, gold chain and pendant were missing.
Hamilton yesterday questioned whether the person in the video or those who appeared to be having a “jolly time laughing” even checked to see if he was breathing or called the ambulance.
The man’s comments invoked the ire of social media users who felt people had become desensitised to murders and had no respect for the dead.
In an interview at her Darneaud Street, Gasparillo home, a grieving Hamilton said Patrice, who was originally from Chaguanas, trained in the same club with her son. She said a year ago he spent the night with them because it was closer to the training venues and never left.
“He came, we never asked him to leave and he became a part of the family. And so he became my son.”
When Hamilton returned home on Thursday, Patrice had already gone to work at Woodford Cafe, where he was a bartender. An hour later a family member called and told her there was a video on social media with his body lying on the road. Hamilton said she had no idea why someone would want to hurt him.
“This young man was a motivator. Most of the people in the club looked to him for inspiration. He used to train in the morning behind the church, knowing that he had to go again to train in the evening. He was always on the game.”
She said his dream was to qualify for the Olympics next year. Asked whether she felt he was targeted for his jewellery, she said she did not want to speculate but noted he was not familiar with the area where his body was found.