Sometime after 3 p.m. yesterday 20-year-old Taried Junior Rock of 3rd Avenue, Chapman Lane, St Michael advised his mother, Sandy Rock, who was preparing to leave home to attend a birthday party, to avoid Black Rock because there had been reports of gunfire there.
At the same time the former Grantley Adams Memorial Secondary School student told his mum he would go to Spring Garden to watch the Grand Kadooment bands on their final sprint.
He teased her about her looks and they laughed together before her last words to him.
“Be careful,” Sandy told her son.
But in a cruel twist of fate, the young man lost his life to violence, the victim of gunshots that sent revellers and onlookers scampering for safety, sullied the festival and left about 20 people nursing injuries, one of them a six-year-old child, who was grazed by a bullet.
“[The] last time I saw him yesterday evening before 3 o’ clock . . . I had my clothes on and he took pictures with me [in the living room]. He said I look sweet though, I said ‘thanks’, he said I going to hot up Facebook. That is the last thing he told me and I started to laugh so bad at how he just told me I’m going to hot up Facebook. He said that ‘you feel that you hot, you know’ and I just laughed,” Sandy recounted while wiping away tears with her son’s t-shirt.
Taried would have celebrated his 21st birthday on August 21, one day after his father, Thomas Felicien.
Sandy had bought her youngest child new clothes for his birthday, and as she sat in her living room in discussion with Barbados TODAY, she was a dejected and devastated mother.
“The way that I feel and the way I am going, I just feel I would get a heart attack and just count out because I am not that strong to deal with this. . . . For it to actually happen at me and it hit home at my house, this is devastating, I can’t get over this,” she said while struggling to remain composed.
The 51-year-old told Barbados TODAY her son was never a troublemaker, preferring instead to walk away from trouble.
Having been bullied at school, Tareid spent lots of time at home and would not go partying or hanging out, the grieving mum said.
“He liked to mix and talk to people but if my son going down the road and he knows that somebody is going to do him something or he will get into trouble, he will not go, he will stay inside. . . . You wouldn’t find him partying because this is what he was afraid of – getting in trouble,” Sandy explained.
Describing her son as “a quiet, unique little fellow”, Sandy said her Taried respected his elders and was friendly with children and adults, adding that beneath his serious facial expression was a playful character and infectious smile.
“I think I was his biggest comedian because I used to have him cracking up. Now I can’t see that anymore. I can’t give him no jokes no more.”
Police have not released information on who might have been behind the shooting which was said today to be gang related.
Whatever the cause, of whoever did it, Sandy said the action was “sickening”.
“It is so sickening. What is all the fighting for? What is the reason behind the shooting … the killing? What is the reason they killing somebody child, a friend, a neighbour? I don’t understand . . . [this] senseless killing. You don’t have any merit behind killing somebody. The person do you something, you got a beef with the persons, you just randomly stand up and shoot at people? What sense that makes?
“I lost my last child. I’m not going to see him anymore and the person that did it walking around being able to pull a fridge, go to bed, sleep, go down the block wherever it is, and I can’t see my child. My child just gone along. So stupid. So stupid,” she added.
Meanwhile, Taried’s dad said he wanted whoever killed his son tried and executed. “When people take a life for nothing, they should be hanged for it. That is my feeling.
“If somebody come in here now [their home] and kill me or her, they are going to go in prison for a couple years and come out and do it again. They don’t care. When they going to prison now, shaking and laughing now like they going to a hotel, it isn’t good enough. It might not solve the problem but it will send a message to think twice,” Felicien said.