Fruit vendor gunned down in Marabella drive-by

File photo.
File photo.

WHEN Debra Phillips dropped off her only son, Rodney, at his fruit stall on Jack Street, Marabella, before she made her way to church on Sunday morning, she was expecting to come back later to take him back home.

That was not to be, as around 7.20 am, assailants in a drive-by shooting, fired at Rodney, 31, about 16 times as he prepared for the day’s sale.

The sound of the rapid gunfire woke up the neighbourhood, but no one admitted to seeing anything. Police later said the killers were driving a white AD wagon.

Shocked by his death, Phillips said she did not know why anyone would want her son dead. He was not married, neither did he have any children.

She said he never indicated to her whether or not he had any enemies. She said he was baptised about four years ago, “but went back into the world.

“I don’t know what my son was in. I don’t know what happened or what led to this. I don’t know if it was jealously, if it is because he was doing good, or if it is the land he was on. God alone knows.”

She said, at a time when covid19 was causing so many deaths, and frontline workers were trying to preserve lives she was at a loss to understand the minds of young people who would take up a gun and take a life.

“Covid19 is killing you naturally and they would not even take the time to thank God for life. They still behaving in this lackadaisical manner.

“I don’t know the minds of these young people these days, to pick up a gun and shoot somebody like that – that is madness and only God could put a stop to this,” she told reporters from her Marabella home.

“I put it in the hands of the Lord because at the end of the day, that is what he tells us to do – humble yourself and call all our cares on him. We have to believe in those words.

“There is God and judgement day will come.”

Recalling the Sunday morning tragedy, Phillips said she dropped off Rodney at the stall around 6 am and went home to prepare for church.

She said as she got to Faith Centre, San Fernando, and was about to get out of her vehicle, one of her daughter’s called to say that Rodney was dead.

“I was like, 'What you mean he is dead? Who killed him?' She said someone drove by and shot him while he was packing away his things to sell.

“He tried to run, but they pick up with him. Heard it was about 16 shots they pelt at him.

“When I dropped my son there I was expecting to go back and pick him up alive. I normally picked him back up because we only have one car.

“When I got up on Sunday morning, I was not expecting nothing like this. No mother wants to hear anything like this about her child."

Homicide Region III is continuing investigations.

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