‘Dem tek weh my baby just like that’ - 10-y-o killed in Central Kingston

December 31, 2021
The house at Wildman Street, Central Kingston, where 10-year-old Jezariah Tyrell was shot and killed yesterday.
The house at Wildman Street, Central Kingston, where 10-year-old Jezariah Tyrell was shot and killed yesterday.
Jezariah Tyrell
Jezariah Tyrell

The wails that echoed from Dahlia Spence's home on Fleet Street in Kingston yesterday were an earnest cry for violence to end in their community.

The latest victim was her 10-year-old daughter, Jezariah Tyrell, affectionately called Kisses, who was shot and killed by unknown assailants early Thursday morning on Wildman Street.

Jezariah was excited about returning to classes at the Holy Family Primary School on January 3, as her mother had just bought her a keyboard to assist with virtual classes. The duo had intentions to purchase school shoes yesterday and to refill her prescription glasses.

"Dem tek weh my baby just like that," she cried. Reports from the Kingston Central police are that at 2:50 a.m., Jezariah and her relatives were asleep at home when a relative reportedly smelled gasolene and heard strange sounds on the roof. The individual went to investigate and was pounced upon by intruders, who attempted to gain entry to the house while firing at the occupants.

Spence rushed to her daughter's assistance and heard her say 'Mommy, me feel like me paralyse'.

The tearful mother of two described Jezariah as humble and smart and one who loves electronics. She reflected on their time spent during Christmas, as they enjoyed dinner with her family and spent Boxing Day at a gaming arcade.

"Me carry her go Buzzers the next day, she and her godbrother and stepfather. We just had a blast at Buzzers. She say she want go pon the $1,000 game dem and me mek she do it. She is not a child weh, even when me deh abroad and she call, she nah ask me nothing bout pretty shoes and clothes, enuh. A phone a fi her thing. Kisses nuh worry bout clothes, she is not a materialistic child," Spence told THE WEEKEND STAR. She broke down as she recalled that Jezariah wanted to become a nurse.

"Fada God, oh God. Me and her did a make plans cause me tell her me did a go do a family surprise trip to YS Falls [in St Elizabeth]. She did excited, you understand me? She did a look forward to a lot of things. Dem cut my baby life short, just like that. Me never know say this did a go reach a my doorstep," Spence said with tears streaming down her face.

Spence also lost Jezariah's father to gun violence in 2014, when she was a merely three years old.

Other mothers said that their children are afraid to venture outside to socialise or even play football as they fear being caught by bullets or recruited in gangs.

With schools set to resume face-to-face schooling on Monday, some parents may refuse to send their children. One mother said that she will be following her son to school "because the enemies and vampires out there will just see yuh pickney and just hurt dem like that and don't care".

"So every morning me affi make it my point a duty fi follow him and go for him because dem nuh safe nuh time. It need fi stop man, it need fi stop," she stressed.

The residents pleaded for a resolution to the tiresome rampage by gunmen, who have been wreaking havoc on their community for the past year. Even though there was an increased police and military presence in central Kingston when the news team visited the community yesterday, residents cowered in fear.

"The heart a man get wicked, desperately wicked. Dem say in a time like this, we fi look up and me ago tell you, we fi start pray fi we pickney dem. This nuh done, enuh, watch," another resident added.

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