‘Where is daddy?’ | News – Jamaica Gleaner

Yesterday afternoon, Tessica Rodriques, mother of Akeem Whyte – the taxi operator from Epsom 8 West in Greater Portmore, St Catherine, who was fatally shot on Tuesday – could only find herself sitting under a tree across from his house and weeping.
It is alleged that about 1:36 p.m., the 27-year-old taxi operator was picking up students along Braeton Park main road when a man walked up to him and opened fire.
Whyte reportedly ran towards a nearby tree, where he collapsed. He was pronounced dead at hospital.
While speaking with The Gleaner on Wednesday, Rodriques insisted that her son, who had also been known as ‘Russian’ and ‘Little Pree’, was not a troublemaker and did not deserve the end he got. She said he was a good father to his three-year-old daughter.
“Anybody can tell you. If you see it on the social media you would know that everybody had good things to say about him. Him nuh trouble people. If me and you nuh talk, him a talk to you,” said Rodriques, who has been living in Epsom 8 West for more than 20 years.
“Is a bwai weh have ambition. Him have up pan him something ‘100% promising’. Him seh, ‘Mommy, me a go look after you and mi sister. 100 per cent promising’,” she said.
The grieving mother said her son’s ambition’s was shown when he went for work-and-travel overseas and bought a Toyota Caldina motor car to start running taxi services until he upgraded to owning a Toyota Isis.
Rodriques said she was undergoing a process to get the fitness of her car passed in Spanish Town when she was alerted about the death of her son who had only recently celebrated his birthday in May.
The loss of her son is one Rodriques believes will always puzzle her given that she says she directed him along the correct path in life.
“If mi did grow him inna garrison, mi coulda seh, ‘Yes, him have garrison friend’. None a mi two pikni dem nuh grow ina garrison. A me alone grow inna garrison, so if mi as a garrison woman know seh him mix up, mi wouldn’t feel it so. Him nuh drink and him nuh smoke! So if it was a pikni weh mi know seh, ‘Him have da bad friend de’, mi wudn feel it so!” she said while crying.
For the deceased’s girlfriend and mother of his three-year-old, if she could turn back the hands of time, she would not have allowed him to leave their home.
“His and his daughter’s last words were, she said to him, ‘Daddy, stay wid mi nuh. Mi nuh feel good’ and he said to her, ‘Mama, mi soon come. Mi a go pick up di school pikni dem’, and when he was going through the gate, if I knew that would be my last kiss and the last ‘I’m coming home soon’, mi wuda try mi best fi keep him,” she said.
“I’m in distress. I can’t come to terms all now. His daughter keeps asking, ‘Where is daddy? Daddy’s not dead. Daddy’s just sick and he is coming home in bandages’,” she said before adding, “It’s a hard one. A really hard one.”
She also described him as a “people person” and “not a troublemaker”.
Rodriques now wants to know why her son was murdered.
“Mi naa question God, inu, but why mi baby weh no trouble people, why mi baby weh nuh trouble people? Mi baby naa fire shot and fi dead by shot. Mi baby nuh trouble people! Mi can’t bare this! Mi can’t digest that one here!” she said while weeping.
ainsworth.morris@gleanerjm.com
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