Nedburn Thaffe, Gleaner Writer
THE FAMILY of 15-year-old Jamaican Jarvis Montaque is still trying to make sense of his killing, days after he was shot and killed on his veranda at Jamestown Crescent, Toronto, Canada.
"He is not the kind of kid that loves to hang out outside. When you see him outside, is either I am sending him to the store, he is going to church, or school," a distraught Maureen Montaque, mother of the murdered teenager told The Gleaner last week.
The former Annotto Bay High School student, who hails from Hersel Lane, Annotto Bay, St Mary, left Jamaica in 2011 to live with his mother. Montaque said she wanted to give her son a better life and "did everything possible" to get him into the country. Jarvis, she said, also had big dreams for himself, clinging to hope that he would one day enlist in the Canadian army.
"He wanted to be a soldier, that's what he wanted. June coming, his high school would want me to sign a paper for him (for approval to enlist in the army). He asked me to sign the paper. That was his dream, to join the army.
"He wouldn't have started training right away, but this was a part of the process," Montaque explained, as she broke down repeatedly in tears.
That dream was cut short on Sunday, February 17 when, according to a Toronto newspaper report, a lone gunman opened fire, shooting him at close range, as he stood with friends on his veranda some minutes to 11 p.m.
The shooting death of the teenager has since fuelled calls for an end to gun violence, even as police appeal for persons to tell what they know in order to bring the killer to justice. He is the third teenager to be killed in Toronto since the start of the year.
Mom recounts last moments
While trying to dispel rumours that her son's murder is gang-related, Montaque, also a Jamaican by birth, recounted her son's last moment.
"It was about 10:50, he was inside the house. His friend (also from Annotto Bay, St Mary) wanted to smoke, so he went outside to accompany his friends."
"I went upstairs and looked through the bathroom window, where I saw his friend smoking and he was there playing music and dancing. By the time I reach downstairs, me hear the shot. Somebody rushed in and seh, 'Jarvis!'."
She said the family rushed outside where they saw a friend trying to resuscitate him. He was taken to hospital where he later died.
"The family not doing good. Nobody expected this; we have been living at this address for 20 years and none of my children have any police record," Montaque said.
Twenty-three-year-old Roshea Guinnis, one of 10 sisters of the deceased, remembered the Jamaican teen as a protector and the one to put a smile on everybody's face.
"He is always dancing and listening to music. When he just came up, he immediately opened up to all of us; he was never shy," she recounted.
Jarvis' father, Wayne, said he was too distraught to talk about his son's murder. The family plans to take his body back to Jamaica for burial.
The police are still conducting their investigation into the killing.