Kathy Brathwaite, mother of 25-year-old Terrence Brathwaite, was overwhelmed with grief, immediately after the lifeless body of her son was discovered lying face down in Silver Hill, Christ Church around 11 a.m. today by police.
The discovery brought to an end a three-day search by the now heartbroken mother for her son, who was apparently dead since yesterday.
Today as she spoke to reporters about her loss, Brathwaite displayed a range of emotions from grief to anger to disbelief, as she revealed that it was not the first time she had dealt with a shooting death in her family. Her oldest child, Kobea Braithwaite, was also murdered in similar fashion in Briar Hall, Christ Church back in August 2010.
Nearly eight years later the family has been thrown into mourning again, but Braithwaite was adamant today that Terrence was not a bad boy and did not deserve to die in the manner in which he did.
“If you go through my neighbourhood and you get people they would say that boy does cut grass. Yes, he would smoke he little weed, so what, he ain’t killing nobody,” the devastated mother of five said, while admitting that he was “a little rambunctious” at times and “said things that people didn’t [want to] hear”.
Still, “he did not deserve this”, the grieving mother insisted.
Using colourful language, she also revealed to reporters that she had warned her son, who lived in Gall Hill, Christ Church, not to hang around undesirable characters from within the community.
“If he did running about shooting people and this happen, then I would say, ‘well OK’. But he didn’t do this thing he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time around a lot of [expletive]. I told him to keep away from,” the angry mother said.
After being told by police officers on the scene that she should conduct herself in a respectable manner Brathwaite composed herself and said that she had warned Terrence to not go into Silver Hill because she had already buried a child and she did not want to bury another one.
“Let me rephrase, last time they had the shooting down here I said, ‘Terrence keep from down there because I buried a child already I don’t want to bury another one’ and he won’t hear, he won’t hear,” she said, close to tears at that time.
The victim’s mother said she had a feeling something was wrong after she dreamt yesterday that she attended a funeral service. However, her worse nightmare was confirmed today by someone who came to inform her of the death of her son.
“I had the feeling from the time the man came to my house. The man said, ‘Wait you hear Terrence for the day?’ I said, ‘He must have gone to work.’ . . . but he said, ‘You ain’t hear?’ I said, ‘Hear what?’ He said, ‘Well there had a shooting down there and nobody can’t find Terrence’,” she recalled.
Brathwaite said almost immediately, she felt a sharp pain in her stomach, one that was not totally unfamiliar. In fact, it was the same pain she felt when her oldest son was killed over seven years ago.
“I felt a pain in my stomach, the same pain I got when my first son was killed. Then I went and sat down in the same spot in the front house,” she said, adding, “Not again.”
The mother became even more emotional as she told reporters that she was scheduled to leave the island next weekend but could no longer do so due to the unfortunate death of her son.
“I supposed to leave here Sunday to go Canada and I can’t [leave] to go [anywhere] now. Trying to do something and now this hey,” she said.
The distraught mother said it was pure pain that mothers had to go through month after month with all the gun violence in the country.
“This is pure pain, why we as mothers have to go through this all the time month after month. It may hold up for a month or two, then it starts back. Them kill he, he gone long resting [but] they [left] me, his friends, his sisters and his father in pure chaos. I couldn’t sleep last night. I toss, I turn, I toss, I turn,” Braithwaite said.
She recounted the frantic search to find her son who she had not seen since Sunday.
“I went down here three, four, five times all in that bush looking or my child. All I saying I wonder if he dropped in a well out there . . . . The police said ‘no’ [but] last night when the rain started to fall I say, ‘Lord God I wonder where they got [him]? I hope they ain’t dump he no where that I would never find he. I wonder if they kidnap he, I wonder what’,” she said, adding that while God had blessed her with five children, “demons” had tragically taken her two sons, leaving her with three daughters – including one who lives in the United States.
“Now we have to give her the news that another brother dead,” the mother said between sobs.
“That isn’t fair, which part of that fair to me or anybody for that matter. Whether it was he or someone else child it was not fair. This [gun violence] has to stop. What the people doing? What the politicians doing?” she asked openly, while suggesting that that the senseless crime was destroying Barbados.