Please Lord, send me answers!
This was the cry of Jewel Drakes, a mourning St Michael mother, as she called on God to give her answers surrounding the mysterious death of her 20-year-old son, Romario Yarde. Yarde died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital yesterday after being shot in his chest, reportedly while in the Collymore Rock area.
Details were unclear about exactly how he died and police have been appealing to the public for information.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, which was punctuated by her loud wails that echoed through her Bayville, St Michael home, Drakes said that as she tried to cope with the reality of making plans to bury the fifth of her eight children, she needs to know how he met his death.
“I just want answers. I just really want to know what happened . . . What cause it? What happen? Nobody ain’t telling me nothing. I just can’t take it. How to bury a child out of eight children and now seven?” she cried.
Holding her head as tears streamed down her face, she added: “I don’t know how to deal with it, I just don’t know.”
Drakes recalled that when she left home for church around 8:30 a.m. yesterday, her son was in his bedroom asleep. When she returned home to prepare lunch, he was not there.
It was as Drakes was going to take an afternoon nap that she heard someone calling outside her home. When she looked out, she was told to immediately head to the hospital because “Romario just get shoot.”
“I say ‘where Romario just get shoot?’ He say ‘in Collymore Rock’. I say ‘you were with him?’ He say ‘no’. I say ‘who took him to the hospital?’ ‘We take him’. And then I just say ‘but wunna should call the police’. Then I just walk and went along and when I get there the doctors just questioned me and tell me if I know any distinctive marks on he and it was questions after questions . . .” she said.
According to the mother, Yarde was raised mainly by his grandmother and “was not a bad boy”.
“If he was, I would tell ya’ll,” she added, although she suggested that he may have been caught up with the wrong company in the past few days.
“He was just nuff mouth and he would talk. You would have to hit him . . . Up to Friday me and he had it and then he come back and he apologized and then all Saturday he was apologizing and saying he sorry, he sorry, he sorry. He was not in no gang and he wouldn’t go out there and look for trouble. He didn’t use to get in no conflicts with nobody and had nobody looking for he so I don’t really know.”
“He didn’t deserve to be shot. Them didn’t had to shoot he, them didn’t had to shoot he,” Drakes cried out.
She said the sight of her son’s body laying in the hospital haunted her and constantly flashed before her eyes.
“I just keep on seeing he all the time. The bedroom empty, empty. I get up last night and went looking for he. I just see the bed there but no Romario, no Romario, no Romario. He gone. He just gone, Romario just gone . . . Just tell me how to deal with it, Lord; just give me the strength to deal with it.”
Drakes said she would depend on God to give her strength to make it.
“I know I serve an almighty God and I know he will give me the strength and he will endure with me to the end. He say he will never leave me or forsake me and I know he is a true God . . . There is sorrow now but joy gine come,” she said, as her head rested in the bosom of a neighbour who came over to offer support.
Lawmen are appealing to anyone who can assist with the investigation into Yarde’s death to call the police at emergency number 211 or 430-7189.
Yarde’s shooting death came on the heels of two recent murders – the killing of Richmond Gap resident Jermaine Capone Harper who died by the gun last week, and the fatal shooting of Mark Vincent Walton of Fitts Village, St James, who lost his life to a bullet last Monday night.