“AFTER being shot over and over, he died in his father’s arms.”
This was how Denise Williams described the final moments of her 15-year-old son Jahdil Xavier’s life, as she recalled on Monday when the teen was gunned down at home in Arima on Sunday night. She said it is so unfair that Jahdil will never get the chance to fulfil his dream of being a web designer.
Police said he was killed at about 7.30 pm a few houses away from his own. Police said the youngster was liming with two friends on the road, when they were approached by two gunmen. As the men raised their weapons, the limers ran off in different directions, with Jahdil choosing to run into a house while his friends ran in opposite directions on the road.
The gunmen, police said, followed Jahdil into the house, where they later cornered him in a bedroom and shot him dead. His father, Gill Xavier, who was at the family’s home nearby, heard the gunshots and knowing where his son had been liming, ran out and headed in that direction.
The horrified father, with the help of another person, put Jahdil into a vehicle and headed to hospital, but the Malabar Secondary student died in his father’s arms.
Outside the Forensic Science Centre in St James, an emotional Xavier struggled to speak when asked about his son.
Fighting back tears, he said, “My boy was a praying child, ask anybody and that is all you would hear if you really want to know about him.
“People like to talk about how bad covid19 is. Covid19 did a lot of good for my son. He used the time at home during the lockdown to do a lot of reflection and he came to me and said he wasn’t very interested in school, he admitted that. But he said he would still give it a go because he wanted to finish it and then he would turn to his real goal of being a web designer. He was already doing it, he was already into it. He designed his brother’s web page.”
That was far as Xavier got with the interview, as he walked a short distance away and began to weep. His son’s mother, Williams, who was also at the centre awaiting the autopsy report, said her son was a caring boy who affectionately called her “Ta” after her home nickname, Tasha.
She said that although only 15, her son was the type of person whom she could have an intelligent conversation with. During the stay-at-home period, she spent a lot of time with Jahdil watching documentaries and talking about life and his goals and dreams.
She said they even spoke about the death of George Floyd and consequent Black Lives Matter social justice movement which swept not only the US but also the world, including TT.
“He never liked seeing people being taken advantage of. He loved singing, and he also ideas of being a rapper. And he really loved his belly. He used to tell people he didn’t play around with his belly, and he loved my cooking.
"I kept telling him Pinto Road is not safe. This place is getting so dangerous. It is not natural, there are demons masquerading as people. It was evil people who put eight bullets into my son.
"I would look forward to ‘Ta’ when he came by me...now I’ll never hear that again.”
While police said they had no motive for Jahdil’s murder as he was not known to them and was not known to be in crime or in any gang, his relatives said they believe jealousy was behind his death.
The murder toll now stands at 204 for the year. Last year around the same time the toll was at 234.
Up to press time, Jahdil’s killers remained at large.