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Sunday 24 March 2019
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Relative: Lifestyle caught up to him

Man, 25, shot dead on Block 22

Jabari Johnson
Jabari Johnson

It is often said there are two sides to every person – a “yin” and a “yang.” Yesterday, at the Forensic Science Centre in St James, relatives of Jabari Johnson, a 25-year-old Block 22, Laventille, man who was shot dead near his home, described his two sides while they waited for his autopsy results.

While some relatives described him as a caring and giving person, others told Newsday that he fell into a life of crime after the death of his father.

Police sources also claimed he was wanted in relation to several shootings.

Relatives yesterday told Newsday Johnson was a loving and lovable person.

“Everyone loved him,” said his mother, “well not everyone, because someone killed him.”

Another relative said, “He was kind, loving and respected his elders. He had a son just over a year old. He really loved him. He loved his entire family and would go all out for them. He was a really respectful fellah.”

A third relative said, “If I needed anything he would give it. Even if it were his last dollar.”

But one relative told Newsday that even though, as a youth, Johnson was kind and giving, he eventually turned to a life of crime.

“He wasn’t the person he was years ago,” said the relative, “When he was growing up, he never wanted for anything. He grew up playing inside and going to school. But when he got older he got into trouble with the law.”

The relative said Johnson had several run-ins with the law, and had just been released from jail about four months ago. The relative said his “lifestyle” eventually caught up to him.

“What you are dealing with, and the way your lifestyle is, there are bound to be repercussions.”

At about 10.20 pm on Wednesday Johnson was walking near Block 22, when gunmen got out of a car and ambushed him. They shot him several times before escaping. When police responded, they found him dead on the scene.

Police and relatives alike are of the belief that Johnson was a victim of an ongoing conflict between rival gangs in Laventille.

One relative lamented the “lifestyles”of many youths in the area and told Newsday he warned Johnson and other youths in the area about the fatal end that could befall people involved in gangs.

“I tried to tell him you are living, and I don’t care if you don’t care about yourself, but try to care about your family. Try to think about what we have to go through when you lose your life. We have to go through it, because he is already dead. We have to find money to bury you and find money to patch up our souls and hearts.”

As the relative spoke, the mother of Johnson’s child could be heard in the waiting room of the Forensic Science Centre, weeping and wailing.

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