The father of the young man who was stabbed to death in the River Bus Terminal yesterday is insisting his son was not the aggressor.
As a matter of fact, Michael Gooding of Ellerton, St George said his 23-year-old son, Kemar, was a victim of circumstance.
“He was not the aggressor yesterday. Somebody was holding his son, and the same fella that stabbed him liked the girl who was holding his son. He [the alleged killer] said something to him [Kemar], she said something back, and he [the alleged killer] threw something at the girl and she covered my grandson so that he wouldn’t get hit and that started everything,” the senior Gooding told Barbados TODAY in an interview from his home.
Police said Kemar, a ZR conductor also of Ellerton, St George, died while receiving treating in the Accident & Emergency Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for injuries suffered in the attack.
Barbados TODAY was told Kemar was part of a mob that approached a young man who is employed by the Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW) at the River Bus Terminal, and began throwing stones in his direction.
According to one of the MTW employee’s colleagues, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the nature of the incident, his co-worker was a victim of bullying; while another worker, who was an eyewitness to the incident, recalled the sequence of events that led to the killing.
“My man went out to buy breakfast and just so some men bore he. He was walking and one of our workers look downstairs and say, ‘my man run boy, all them men coming to beat you’. When he look around all the men was around him. The fella that dead he attacked him from a different angle. I don’t know what happen, but he dead now,” he said.
However, the dejected dad had a completely different story, insisting his son was not part of any mob. “As far as I know, they run the man and Kemar was out front because he was always good on his feet. The guy went into the building where he was working and Kemar fell down and the guy stabbed him on the ground,” he reported.
Far from being a troublemaker, Kemar was “loving and extremely caring” and was inclined to walk away from a fight, the father said.
“Kemar, as all boys would, he had his little troubles, but he was not the boy to interfere with anybody. If you were to interfere with Kemar he would defend himself, he wouldn’t back down.
“He was loving and extremely caring. He was the type of person who would walk away, but if you kept coming at him he would do something about it,” Gooding said.
The 45-year-old farm owner reminisced on some of the fond memories he shared with his late son, including their last conversation a week ago.
“I have so many good memories of him. He was a quiet baby, never to say that he gave trouble or anything. He lived with me from three months to ten years old. He would come here by me and we would play pool together and drink a beer with me, we would hang out together, and it is so hard.
“The last time we spoke was about a week ago. He called me and said, ‘daddy, I didn’t work for the week and there is nothing in the house to eat’, and I went to a minimart and bought some groceries for him and that was the last time I heard Kemar.”
Meantime, the grieving Gooding told Barbados TODAY more needed to be done to curb violence among the island’s youth.
“I blame these politicians and the Government because when you remove corporal punishment you telling people they can do what they like and go in prison and eat free meals.
“If you show these youngsters that you can take a life without consequences they will keep on doing it all the time. I believe if you take a life you deserve to go to the gallows or the electric chair. If you are man enough to take someone’s life be man enough to take the consequences. Only God has the right to take life,” he stressed.
“My brother and sister were in the hospital some time back in serious conditions and they lived; my father had triple bypass surgery and he lived; but my son got one stab and died. I think that is very unfair at 23. He will never see his children grow, but only God knows,” Gooding concluded.