SEA day painful for Ezekiel Paria's family 

Ezekiel Paria  - Photo courtesy Melissa Huggins
Ezekiel Paria - Photo courtesy Melissa Huggins

"Seeing children in their uniform passing on their way to write SEA is difficult," said Melissa Huggins, the mother of murdered 11-year-old Ezekiel Paria.

In a phone interview with Newsday on Thursday, she said Paria would have sat the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exam this year, along with 18,246 students across TT.

Huggins, who lives at Mapp Trace in Laventille, said every day she and her family are trying to cope, but it is so much for them to bear. Paria left behind two sisters and three brothers.

Paria’s first-choice secondary school was Fatima College and his second St Anthony's College.

"He loved math and reading; he was excited for SEA."

Today, however, she finds herself grief-stricken.

"He was eager to move on from primary school and start this next chapter."

Paria, who was in standard five at Eastern Boys' Government Primary School, dreamed of becoming a pilot, but was robbed of his dream when he was killed by a stray bullet on February 22. He was standing at Mapp Trace, Laventille Road.

Huggins's voice shook with emotion and she often took long pauses and deep breaths as she spoke.

Melissa Huggins, mother of Ezekiel Paria, is consoled at his funeral at the Life on the Hill Ministries, Laventille Road, Laventille. - Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

Asked if she or her family had received any victim support services from the police or any agency, she said no.

"They said they would provide counselling, but I haven’t seen or heard from anyone; I am still waiting for their call."

Huggins said she and her family welcome any support they are given.

"It has just been so difficult to cope; at times, I don't know where to start. I try my best to take it one day at a time."

Huggins denied claims that her family was interested in any revenge shooting, saying they are focused on healing and still trying to come to terms with their tragedy.

Paria was killed when, around 4.50pm, gunmen ambushed a passing vehicle. It is believed the intended target was 39-year-old contractor Ahkel Fairbairn, who was in the car with his 15-year-old daughter. Fairbairn's daughter was not injured and got out and ran away. Fairbairn had multiple gunshot wounds.

More than a dozen spent shells were found at the crime scene, including several high-powered rifle-bullet casings.


"SEA day painful for Ezekiel Paria’s family "

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