21-year-old labourer shot dead in the presence of his friends
The sound of two stones striking the roof of a shack, followed by a single gunshot, preluded the death of 21-year-old Pole Yard resident Osborne “Rat” Rodgers.
Rodgers, a labourer, originally from Barrouallie, was shot by someone he knew, some time after 11 p.m. on Thursday, January 10 in Arnos Vale community of Pole Yard. He was in a shack where he and his friends liked to hang out.
The wound, on the right side of his chest, ended his life, marking him down as the first person to die violently in 2019.
A witness told SEARCHLIGHT that sometime after 11 p.m. on the fateful night, he, Rodgers and another young man were inside the shack.
The witness said he was sleeping, and Rodgers woke him up and told him “gunman round the place”. The young man said he looked outside and saw two men, one wearing a hoody/hooded sweatshirt and one “bare face”.
“Soon after, we hear two big stones pelt on top the house then the body bawl out ‘Pressure Pressure’, the body start move like police…but we catch the voice, then the body kick in the door and me boy (Rodgers) was asking them ‘wah all da for?’…” The young witness told SEARCHLIGHT on Monday while standing in Pole Yard, a few feet away from where the incident took place.
He said that when Rodgers asked why the door was kicked off, one of the men mentioned a mutual female friend.
“They kill the boy innocent because the boy never trouble them or nothing. He just feel like the boy did have dealings with he woman,” said the witness who added that he remained still in a corner and as a result, the attackers did not notice he was there.
He said that after the accusations started flying, he heard a gunshot and the other man in the house fled and the shooter gave chase, after which Rodgers came to him and told him he was shot and to take him to the hospital.
The witness, 19, said that he saw his close friend expire before his eyes and it was a horrible sight.
“My advice to youth who getting in gun problem is keep out of heat and thing, because heat ain’t good, that’s what I know. For the ones who want to come in heat, not the ones who in it already because they should know, heat nah good and it can’t be good neither,” he advised.
The witness said that persons in the area know what went down, but the residents do not want to get involved. He said that while he and his friends are not “angels”, they don’t make trouble in the area.
“When we get one bread, we does share it, we does make one chicken share, everything we does make share, that’s how we does live. A cup of water share, we don’t eat and leave one hungry. It was just the three ah we,” the emotional young man said.
The youngster, a dropout from the St Martin Secondary School and the Intermediate High School said he is not scared for his life and he would like to make a turn around; “get enrolled in a class or something.”
Them just bad mind kill the boy because he don’t trouble people. They kill the best one too, cause Rat is a man who will say ‘don’t do that’. Rat is a man who go just say ‘rock back and leh we don’t study them’…”, said the witness.
Meanwhile, the other young man, who fled from the gunman said he is extremely hurt over the death of his friend.
“The man is a good youth, he didn’t deserve to dead and I wish I could see him right now,” said the young man while shedding tears.
He added that he grew up with Rodgers and is greatly saddened by the manner in which his friend lost his life.
[UPDATED ON JANUARY 16, 2019]