'We're feeling so much pain' - Bullet silences gifted young chef who won medal for Jamaica earlier this year
Despite the fact that almost two weeks have elapsed since he was killed, the family of celebrated young chef Henry Rose Jr, who was shot dead when a lone gunman attacked the vehicle in which he was travelling with his dad, is still in shock.
The 21-year-old chef of Montpelier in St James was considered a rising star on the culinary circuit and was part of the Jamaica team that participated in the 2017 Taste of the Caribbean competition in June, where he won a silver medal for Jamaica.
Henry Rose Sr, who was lucky to escape with his life at the time of the incident, told The Gleaner that his son was a remarkable young man who had achieved much in his short life in pursuit of his now-shattered dream to become a top-flight executive chef. It is for that reason that the family continues to mourn.
"I am grieving, and the family is feeling so much pain to know we lost such a gifted child," said the broken-hearted father. "There is no one in Jamaica who can say anything bad about him, be it in the community, school, or the workplace."
He continued: "I am saddened to know that we have done so much for the community in which they tried to kill us. I cannot think of anything we have done wrong there. We are caring Christian people; we don't party. All he wanted to learn was how to beat Bobby Flay (Iron Chef America). That is how determined he was of his goal - very much focus on life."
The tragic incident happened on Thursday, October 19, at about 6:30 p.m. The father and son were on their way home from an errand and were just a few feet from their gate when they were pounced upon by a gunman, who opened fire on the vehicle.
Young Rose was hit but his father, who was driving, escaped injury. The senior Rose drove his son to the hospital, where the young man succumbed to his injuries.
"The police said that no suspect has turned up so far. Nobody seems to have seen or heard anything. So there is no closure - no justice - because we can't know why or know who," said the father.
The younger Rose, who was working at the Secrets Hotel in Montego Bay, is a past student of both the Herbert Morrison Technical High School and the Kenilworth Campus of the North West TVET Institute, where he earned his chef de partie qualifications.
HONOURED AND BLESSED
His teachers at Kenilworth remembered him as a cheerful young man who always returned to lend his support to the institution.
The Culinary Federation of Jamaica (CFJ) issued a statement of condolence to the family, stating that Rose was an enthusiastic young man who represented his country and profession with excellence.
"He earned himself a silver medal with the Jamaican team. He was asked at short notice to enter the Junior Chef category, and he willingly agreed and earned another silver medal," the CFJ statement read. "We are honoured and blessed to have known Chef Henry Rose, and we offer our prayers and comfort to his family in this time of sorrow."