Sat | Aug 13, 2022

‘No more Bojo!’

Murder of 8-year-old boy devastates family

Published:Monday | August 9, 2021 | 12:08 AMOlivia Brown/Gleaner Writer
A distraught Eva Brown, Xavier ‘Bojo’ Phillips’ maternal grandmother, stands near the grave where the eight-year-old was shot dead as he was watching football in Howells Content, York Town in Clarendon yesterday.
A distraught Eva Brown, Xavier ‘Bojo’ Phillips’ maternal grandmother, stands near the grave where the eight-year-old was shot dead as he was watching football in Howells Content, York Town in Clarendon yesterday.
INSET: Xavier ‘Bojo’ Phillips
INSET: Xavier ‘Bojo’ Phillips
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Eight-year-old Xavier ‘Bojo’ Phillips had plans to call his father yesterday, but that is a call his father will never get as an early morning attack by gunmen left the child dead.

Little Xavier was shot and killed in the Howells Content area of York Town in Clarendon as he sat on a grave watching a game of football.

Reports from the Four Paths police are that about 7:40 a.m., citizens were at a local playfield when a Toyota motor car approached, and two men alighted and opened fire at the group before making their escape.

The police were summoned, and on their arrival, Xavier and two men were seen with multiple gunshot wounds. They were taken to hospital, where Xavier was pronounced dead. One man has since been released and the other admitted in serious condition.

Yesterday, ear-piercing screams of grief and agony filled the air in the community as the residents watched the scene-of-crime personnel retrieve Xavier’s blood-soaked body from a grave side near the family’s home.

“No more Bojo! A me guh fe Bojo a country. Me nuh come see no more Bojo! Me see Bojo lie dung! Jesus Christ!” wept Eva Brown, Xavier’s maternal grandmother.

Xavier’s mom, Britni Berry, who was being consoled by relatives, had no words as she could not fathom that her only child had been murdered.

Berry’s 80-year-old father, Clifton Berry, who lived in a neighbouring community, was killed by thugs in February, who also firebombed his house.

The family shared that Xavier was an intelligent child with an inquisitive mind who had a knack for learning.

The grandmother said she went to retrieve the child, who had been staying with paternal relatives last week.

She told The Gleaner that she left Xavier in bed yesterday morning while she went to carry out cleaning duties at her church nearby. While at church, she said she heard gunshots and decided to venture back home to tend to Xavier, who she had promised to take to church later that morning.

On her way back home, she said she was greeted with the tragic news that Xavier had been shot.

“Me say ‘No! A cyaa me grandson ‘cause me lef him ina bed a sleep’,” cried the grief-stricken Brown.

CARELESS AND EVIL

Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison has described the slaying of the child as careless and evil. She said the continuous bloodletting and attack on the nation’s children is alarming.

“An eight-year-old just sitting watching a game of football - there’s no harm in that -and he was killed,” she bemoaned.

Harrison said she hopes that the police will swiftly apprehend those responsible for the callous murder.

Councillor for the York Town division Uphell Purcell said the help of citizens was needed in restoring normalcy to the violence-plagued community.

“This is too much. This has gone overboard. I hate to hear of these things continuing in the York Town division,” he stated.

“I am imploring anyone who see the car, anyone who knows anyone who comes into a community with that car, please call the police. If someone had spoken out about those gunmen and they were caught, they wouldn’t have gotten the chance to come here and kill.”

Oneil McLeod, a 38-year-old farmer, was killed in another brazen daylight attack in the same community last Sunday.

As at August 5, the parish of Clarendon recorded 59 murders and 38 shootings.

editorial@gleanerjm.com