Siblings and parents in disbelief over teenager's murder
As the reality of the murder of 14 year-old Shanika Phillips dawned on her parents and siblings, they gazed lengthily upon what is now her last image alive when THE STAR visited their home in Kingston 11 yesterday.
The image was posted to the teenager's Facebook account mere hours before she was cut down by gunmen who were trying to lure her and her 19-year-old cousin into white motor car as they walked home along Woodpecker Avenue in Kingston 11 - the street Phillips lived on all her life - minutes after midnight yesterday.
Refusing to comply
Reports from the Corporate Communications Unit of The Jamaica Constabulary are that Phillips and her cousin ran after refusing to comply with the men's demands.
The teenager was shot in the back and was later pronounced dead at hospital.
Her mother, Melita Ferron, 54, told THE WEEKEND STAR that her youngest of six children was preparing extensively for the Grade Nine Achievement Test at St Margaret Human Resource Centre.
"Dem did a give her some test now because she have the exam in May," Ferron said. "She always say that she want to be an aesthetician, because she love do hair and nails."
Phillips father, Willard Phillips, tried to explain what his 'baby girl' meant to him, but could only gasp for breath as he opened his mouth to speak.
"Mi nuh think mi a go get over this. All the next three years mi nuh think mi a go believe," Willard muttered with a shaky voice and tears streaming down his face.
The family's grieving was worsened when they learnt that persons were busy capturing images of a bloody, wailing Shanika instead of trying to render an assistance.
"A mi son affi go up there go tek har up and we get a taxi to take her to the hospital," Ferron said. "She deh pon the ground more than half hour because har cousin did run go under somebody bed before she come out and tell we what happen."
The family said that their hope now is for her Shanika's killers to be caught and pay the consequences for their actions.
"They [the police] took the only picture [hard copy] we have of her to use the investigation so I hope dem can bring some justice to this," Ferron said.