A 15-year-old boy, who ran to the screams of his mother, was fatally shot in the Turner Top district of Manchester Saturday night.
Vesteroy Sinclair was a student at New Forest High School in the parish and also a young hero who died at gunpoint. Vesteroy, who also goes by Jay, was killed some minutes past 9:00 p.m. when he heard screams from his mother’s shop.
The shop that his mother, Paulette Ingram, operates in their yard in Turner Top district was being rubbed and upon running to investigate the screams coming from the shop, the teen was shot.
The family is now distraught as they try to come to terms with the death of the 15-year-old who is said to be innocent and quiet. His 27-year-old sister, Antonette Swaby-Hill, who felt deep regret for not seeing her brother for two weeks, shared that she and her sibling were supposed to go to a social event the same night of his death.
Swaby-Hill also recounted falling from her bed when she was given the horrific news from Ingram.
She described her brother as a “humble youth” who did not deserve the death he was given. Among the description she gave to the Gleaner Sunday of her sibling being caring and kind, she recalled advising Vesteroy and her other sibling to work hard in school.
The youngest of his two sisters and his brother, Vesteroy was believed to be the one who would elevate his family from poverty and break what seemed to be a generational curse of not completing high school due to financial barriers.
Ingram, who is a single mother, shopkeeper, hairdresser and farmer, has four children and the third attended B.B Coke High School and recently passed seven Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate Subjects.
“The crime system is getting out of hand,” Swaby-Hill stated.
Swaby-Hill went on by sharing loving memories of her brother who would massage her shoulders and rub her baby bump with olive oil to ease tension in her swollen feet when she was pregnant with her second daughter. She also recounted the delicious meals her younger brother prepared.
Chairperson of the school’s board and Jamaica’s Early Childhood Commission Trisha Williams-Singh, who felt that Vesteroy’s death was “one of the hardest news to receive”, shared that the teen had a promising future.
She noted that he was never sent to the principal’s office and the teen, whose death has shaken the New Forest family, was looking forward to transitioning into grade 10.
Vesteroy, who is said to have a passion for music, was one of the school’s top performers in their performing arts department and he last performed at the school’s Jamaica Day celebration. She also spoke about the concern the families were feeling for their children’s safety given the robberies that have been plaguing the area.
The school is offering to counsel the grieving family or contribute toward the burial of the brave teenage boy, who enrolled in the Pathways One group.
Principal of New Forest High Arnaldo Allen visited the family on Sunday and also voiced concerns about the robberies and called on the government to take action against the “perpetrators of evil”.
The teen’s death was also condemned by councillor-caretaker for the Alligator Pond Division Omar Robinson, who also called on the government to implement better security measures within the community and improve the safety of the citizens.
Robinson declared that the residents are “pensive and traumatized” by the level of criminality that is plaguing the area, which ranges from robberies, rapes and murders. He continued to say that he is calling for “more resources at the Alligator Pond Police Station” that also needs “more personnel and more units”.
From 2022 began to June 26, there have been 20 murders recorded in Manchester. Whereas the corresponding period of 2021 shows that there were 13 murders. Hence there has been a 53.8 per cent increase in the murder rate.