He was no criminal - Family moves to clear name of man whose funeral was shot up

December 12, 2017
Tamekia Quarrie at her brother's grave at Dovecot on Sunday.
Romain Whyte
Police yellow tape outside Kings Chapel Seventh-day Adventist Church in Kingston where gunmen opened fire on mourners attending a funeral recently.
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Tamekia Quarrie says that her mother is a torn woman. In addition to being forced to bury her son, Jennifer Housen must now fight back at suggestions that his funeral was shot up on Sunday because he was a gunman.

Romain Whyte, 30, was a vendor on Beckford Street until the time of his untimely death on October 29, when he was stabbed.

"He got into an altercation with a young man who stabbed him in his neck, and he bled to death," Tamekia said.

When THE STAR contacted Jennifer yesterday, she said that "everybody knows he is not a bad person."

"I am depressed. Headaches and all that," were among the few words the grieving mother uttered.

Tamekia said that after the sudden loss of Romain, Jennifer dug deep and sought to give him a proper funeral. However, that was disrupted when gunmen fired on mourners who turned up at Kings Chapel in east Kingston on Sunday for the service. Nine persons were injured, two of whom died.

"It didn't have anything to do with my brother," Tamekia said yesterday. She surmised that the gunmen targeted mourners at the funeral because of a pre-existing feud.

 

NO TROUBLE WITH THE LAW

 

"My brother has never been in any trouble with the law," she said. "My brother was not involved in any criminality. What happened yesterday had nothing to do with my brother.

"The sad part of it is that we didn't get to complete the funeral service, and then we had to bring him to the cemetery and just bury him like that. We are torn. We are sad," Tamekia, Romain's eldest sibling, said. "It was very horrifying."

Icema Laylor, Romain's 79-year-old grandmother, was among the frightened mourners. "I never see sup'm like this, and me a beg God nuh mek me see sup'm like this again," she said.

The elderly woman said that Romain was never a bad boy, and he didn't deserve to die in that manner. She said it was heart-rending that his funeral was disrupted in that way.

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