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Jamaican mom grieves son’s murder as they were preparing for church

By Jamaica Observer

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Alisia Beckford cries as she recalls the brutal murder of her 16-year-old son, Justin Foster, at her house in Harbour View yesterday morning as they were preparing for church. (Photo: Norman Thomas)

(JAMAICA OBSERVER) —   A day after Alisia Beckford buried her brother and was preparing to attend church, gunmen entered her yard in Bayshore Heights, St Andrew, and sprayed her son, Justin Foster, with bullets.

According to Beckford, the 16-year-old Career Advancement Programme student was preparing for church as well when he was brutally killed.

“Mi wake him up and him say him a go get ready. Come him a come wid di iron inna mi room and den mi hear him say, ‘A who unuh, a who unuh. Weh unuh a do inna mi yard?’ and den after mi just hear bare shot,” Beckford lamented.

The constabulary’s Corporate Communication Unit (CCU) reported yesterday morning that approximately 7:45 am Foster was shot by unknown assailants at his gate. The Elletson Road Police were summoned by residents who heard the explosions. When the police arrived, Foster was seen lying on his back in a pool of blood with gunshot wounds. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

However, the CCU’s commanding officer Deputy Superintendent Dahlia Garrick told the Jamaica Observer that based on preliminary investigations, yesterday’s killing could have been a case of mistaken identity.

“Investigations so far would suggest that he was not the intended target. We are following some strong leads and actively pursuing this investigation,” Garrick said.

Yesterday morning when the Observer visited the hilly terrain overlooking Kingston’s coastline, Foster’s relatives gathered beyond the yellow tape attached to zinc fences as police processed the scene.

Moments later, the mother of four, who had gone to identify her third child’s body, alighted a motor vehicle in the company of her daughter.

It was not long before her cries began competing with the shouts of the congregation at a nearby church echoing through the community.

“Oh, Jesus, mi cyaan tek it nuh more!” she cried.

Explaining that her son attends church “from time to time” with her, Beckford said he had agreed to attend church with her yesterday because they were scheduled for an entire day of worship and, as a result, she had not planned to cook dinner.

Emphasising that her son was loving and caring, she said if she had told him to run before the gunmen struck he would not have left her with his two-year-old brother in the house.

“Oh, Jesus, mi a tell yuh, dem test yah hot. Oh, mighty Jesus, mi cyaan tek it nuh more. Mi just bury mi breda yesterday, ennuh. It too much,” the woman cried.

“Mi cyaan stay right yah so. Right a mi door. How mi fi go tru dis?” she continued.

Soon after, her relatives and her church family consoled her and began praying.

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