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Vigil for slain cousins


SHERIA BRATHWAITE

Vigil for slain cousins

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Young people, especially men, are being urged to show more love towards each other.

The cry came last night from a relative of one of two cousins gunned down while liming on the block at Marley Vale, St Philip, with a group of people on August 29 last year, just after 8:30 p.m. They were not far from their East Point homes.

On the anniversary of the double murder of Kyle Rico “Sad Boy” Burgess and Renaldo “Conan” Gittens, both 24 years old, about 200 friends and relatives gathered at the abandoned mini-mart, where they met their tragic fate, to remember them.

Donna Taylor, Burgess’ aunt, said both boys had a strong community presence and were dearly missed. She said they liked swimming and fishing and shared the catch of the day with others. 

“I know the situations out there are dread, but I would like the youth to cut down on this type of activity,” she said, fighting back tears. “It is not productive to the society and people need to reflect on their lives.

“For those who lost ones, we need to have a united front and keep good memories of those that have passed.”

Taylor, who organised the event with Shakira Burgess and Beverly Gittens, said the vigil would be an annual event.

The group, some with candles in hand, walked from East Point, where Gittens lived, to Burgess’ home in Marley Vale, singing choruses such as What A Mighty God We Serve. They gathered at the old shop and volunteers shared words in support of the grieving family.

People from St Michael, Christ Church and St Joseph turned out for the event, which initially was scheduled to last 30 minutes but went on for hours.

Relatives of the cousins also flew in from the United States to participate.

Kyle’s older brother Dwayne Burgess suffered a similar fate three years ago. (SB)

 

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