A grieving Christ Church mother, whose son succumbed today to the gunshot wounds he suffered at the hands of police in an incident at Maxwell Plains, in the same parish, on Tuesday, is condemning what she sees as his senseless death.
“They killed my child,” was the cry of Norma Stuart, as she publicly vented her anger at police over the loss of her beloved son.
“He should be with me now, not going six feet down,” she told Barbados TODAY as she struggled to come to terms with her loss.
On Tuesday, police reported that investigating officers were approaching a resident to make some inquiries when a series of loud explosions were heard coming from the direction of a group of people who were liming in the area.
Quickly after that, lawmen say they were forced to run for cover and later had to discharge their weapons after a motorcar, driven by 32-year-old Dwayne Ward, of Dayrells Hill, Christ Church, sped at them in a threatening manner before crashing into a parked lorry.
Amid mixed reports from residents about how the shooting episode unfolded, Ward was subsequently transported to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital under police escort and was reportedly in critical condition.
However, after a valiant fight over the past three days, he was declared dead earlier today immediately throwing his family into a state of mourning.
When Barbados TODAY visited his mother’s home, the 55-year-old single mother was extremely upset, describing her son’s death as an “assassination” by law enforcement officers that had left her filled with anger and lots of pain.
“I’m trying to cope but this is a total disaster. It is wrong, it is not right. They killed my son. That was something wilfully done,” she said, not attempting to hide her emotions.
“When I think about it I am really vex to think of what happened,” Stuart said, while reporting that over a dozen bullets were fired at her son, including one that hit him in the head.
“Why they shot him in the head? I am not satisfied with this. They didn’t have to kill him [but] they took my son and assassinated him,” she cried, while suggesting that justice would be served.
“Whoever do it will meet [their own fate],” the grieving mother said, adding that “they [police] can’t take people children and kill them all the time so”.
“Something needs to be done. Police killing people children and getting away with it,” she stressed.
With tears in her eyes, Stuart reminisced about the last conversation she had with her son, of whom she had several fond memories.
“I remember he would bring friends over and they would torment me. When I cooking he would go in my pot before it done and when I looking for the food he got a plate and outside eating unfinished food,” she said.
She also recalled their last conversation on Sunday night.
“He came to me and say, ‘mummy, you got money? I want a pack of pampers for the little boy’ and I went and take out some money and gave him,” she said in reference to the father of five, who she said did everything in his power to take care of his children.
In light of his death, Stuart said she was particularly worried about how his 11-year-old daughter, a student of Good Shepherd, would take the tragic news, considering she was anticipating a shopping trip with her father which could no longer occur.
“His daughter was his heart. How are we going to tell her that he is dead when she comes home from school now? We told her on Wednesday that daddy was in hospital and she hasn’t said anything since.
“I don’t know how we are going to tell her [he is dead] because he promised to take her shopping,” his mother explained.
Stuart, who is a cleaner by profession, told Barbados TODAY that Ward was the younger of her two sons, neither of whom were saints.
However, she still did not believe he deserved to die the way he did.
“My children are not saints but they try to go with the flow. When you interfere with a person and have them frustrated, they retaliate. He [Ward] was a lovable, fun child. He won’t laugh regular of course unless he got a really good joke, but otherwise he was a decent child. Anything I wanted he would get for me.
“I am not saying he was a perfect child. He had his way of doing things, but otherwise he shouldn’t be dead, he should be home now.”
The grieving mother also expressed concern about the cost of her son’s funeral.
“I have to look for burying fee right now. I am in debt and look at me now I have to look for money to bury him. Where am I going to get it from? I don’t have any money save. I don’t know how I am going to get it,” she told Barbados TODAY.