by Kareem Smith
Coreen Selman-Hart has been robbed of a son, Golden Rock the Pine has been robbed of a role model and Barbados has been robbed of a hardworking businessman – in the latest brainless shooting in the troubled St. Michael community.
Randy “Nutman” Selman was sitting not far away from his home when gunmen sprayed the area with a hail of bullets. The 38-year-old was struck.
His grieving mother recalled that on Wednesday evening, her son came home in good spirits after a full day of work on the corner of Pine Hill Road and Pine Plantation Road where he sold a variety of nuts and fruits. Randy, also known as I-ran, was in his front yard drinking a beer, before the community was rattled with the sound of gunfire sending him running for his life as his mother listened from inside the house.
All appeared to be well as she ventured outside until her grandson called frantically to ask about the wellbeing of his father. It was after the urgings of her grandson to see about his father that she went in search of Randy and discovered him crouching motionlessly on the ground near his van.
“I thought that he was still down there crouching from the bullets, but when I looked closer I saw this whole heap of blood and Randy wasn’t moving, and I started to scream. And when I screamed, it alerted everybody and all the men came out looking,” she recalled.
He was then rushed to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), but the best efforts of medical staff when his heart stopped beating were to come to naught.
Since then, her hopes have descended into grief and anger as she recalled her son’s journey from a 15-year-old, disenchanted with school, but determined to build a life
for himself and his family.
According to Selman-Hart, Randy started selling nuts at the corner for a short time as an employee but with her help, he evolved.
“I had just gotten paid and I put money in Randy’s hand and told Randy to go and buy his own nuts, and that is how he started selling nuts at that corner. He worked selling nuts to send to school his children. His daughter went to Queen’s College, his son went to St. Leonard’s. Now the daughter is at the UWI [University of the West Indies] and his son is studying mechanical engineering at SJPI. That is the man that they took from his children and from me. Do you think it is fair?” she asked with tears flowing freely.
“All my son would do is do good for people. If you tell my son something that he doesn’t like, all my son would do is smile. My son was a good man, a unique fellow.
He took care of me. If my head was hurting he would look out for me.
“On mornings he would cook healthy food for me. He would say ‘mum…you’re getting older. You can’t eat any foolish food like what these young people are eating. You have to eat proper, because when you get older I have to take care of you’,” she remembered.
“Now it’s me who has to bury my child instead of my child burying me,” she cried out.
For many others in the community however, Wednesday’s shooting was just another episode in a seemingly never-ending nightmare for Golden Rock residents.
In fact, it was just under a year ago that Randy buried his close friend Keron Anthony Hodge better known as Guss, who died in a similar manner. Omar ‘Puggy Wiggins was shot and killed in March during a late night drive-by shooting.
“[Randy] had to snatch up Guss and put him in his van and carry him down to the hospital when they came out here and shot Guss. Now it’s just a couple weeks from a year and they got out there and killed my child mercilessly,” the grieving mother cried.
Residents say the area was peaceful before a group of men who used to lime at the ‘Mob Hill block’ in another part of the Pine moved their liming spot to “Jingles’ shop’ in Golden Rock. Making matters worse is the ‘no snitching’ policy among younger residents who want the shooting to stop, but refuse to cooperate with police.
“Some nights I have to lay down on the bedroom floor. I have to lay in my bedroom on the floor because bullets are hitting all the time. This sh.. has to stop, and if it means
that my son had to die for this to stop, then so be it, because my son cannot die in vain,” she pledged.
“I hope that this goes down as one of the fastest murder trials in Barbados and I would like the Attorney General to do something about it. My son was not just anybody,
he was somebody.
“He was my child and people have been calling since last night that I don’t even know. Two hard-backed men came here and broke down in tears like a baby and when you see that, you would know the type of child that I have,” his mother recalled.
Rhonda “Mudda” Hollingsworth who for some time has been complaining about Government and law enforcement’s neglect of the area recalled the deceased as a peaceful man.
“Since I knew him all of my years living in The Pine even before he cut his ‘natties’, he was quiet and peaceful. He did not deserve the death that he got and we need justice
to be done when it comes to him,” Hollingsworth added.
At the Nutman’s former vending spot, a black flag has been erected and as cars passed by, Barbadians lamented the loss of a “respectable”, “honourable”, and “hardworking” man.
Tributes were also pouring in on social media with numerous well known public figures including economist Jeremy Stephen and Democratic Labour Party President
Verla DePeiza paying their respects.