A large crowd, some with posters and burning candles, turned out this evening for a candlelight vigil to reflect on the life of Dwayne Jason Omar Gooding who was killed on April 22.
Gooding of My Lord’s Hill, St Michael was returning home from White’s Shop in Martinique Road, Government Hill when he was attacked along a pathway not far from the retail outlet.
Police have arrested and charged Omar Oneal Hurdle, 33, of 3rd Avenue, Ivy, St Michael with his murder.
Some wept quietly, while others expressed their sorrow through words as they continued to mourn the unexpected death of the young man who was known by members of the community as a friendly and quiet person.
Family members and friends who participated in the march lamented that Gooding did not deserve to die, and called for justice to be served.
“Justice for Jason,” the crowd chanted intermittently.
Gooding’s best friend Michelle Clovis, who played a major role in organizing the event, told those gathered that it was time to end the violence.
“I knew Gooding most of my life. We came up together, we ran around together and we shared a lot of memories together. He was the best friend anyone could have had. He was also very calm and cool. He did not deserve the injustice or the demise he came to meet.
“I want to ask everyone to fight against all the violence. We as young people need to know when to stop. Jason died so we could live and preach this in his name,” the young woman said.
Gooding’s cousin Pastor Lemuel Rawlins of Faith Temple Ministries told the mourners that as they gathered to celebrate the young man’s life that had been “stupidly cut off”, they should pray for this family, the man who ended his life and all of Barbados.
He said something was drastically wrong when a young man could be simply walking home and he could become the innocent victim of a vicious attack.
“I want you in your hearts, in your own way to be constantly praying for this nation that there would be no more Jasons; that there would be no more incidences like this that would bring people together to light a candle to commemorate the life of a slain brother of sister,” Rawlins preached.
Gooding’s mother, Gale, and his father, Alphonso were too grief-stricken to speak. His 76-year-old grandmother Shirley Gooding could be seen wiping tears from her eyes.
The procession left Gooding’s home, made its way to the White’s Shop and into the Ivy, ending at St Giles Nursery School.