Teen shot in Seaview Gardens vows never to return to Jamaica
A frustrated Howard Johnson has expressed disappointment in the Jamaican authorities handling a case involving his teenage son who was shot and injured during a joint police-military operation in Seaview Gardens, St Andrew, in August.
The 15-year-old boy, who lives in the USA but was on holiday in Jamaica, was shot in his leg. He was reportedly going to a nearby shop with his cousins when he was shot in the leg.
In a statement, which was issued shortly after the incident, INDECOM said "the security forces report an engagement with at least one (possibly two) males, one of whom is reported as allegedly pointing a firearm at the members of the security forces". Family members denied that the boy was involved in any wrongdoing.
The bewildered father yesterday said that since he and his son returned to America in August, he has not heard from the police or the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM).
"Mi nuh hear nothing. The INDECOM lady weh mi did a talk to, inna recent times talking to her, the energy is not right compared to when I was in Jamaica, so mi nuh optimistic pon that. The investigating officer not even link me back so me a guess dem wah treat it like a one of dem things deh inna Jamaica," the frustrated father of five said.
When THE STAR contacted INDECOM's commissioner Hugh Faulkner yesterday, he said that he was unable to provide an update on the investigation his agency was conducting. He, however, made a commitment to check with its progress and update our news team at a later date.
Johnson said that his teen son is now withdrawn since he returned home, even showing an unusual reluctance to leave the house and be with his friends.
"Today is Sunday and from he came in from school on Friday, he has not gone back outside. The other day there was an incident at the school and the police had to come. I was told that he became so shaken-up sharing an elevator with the cops, even though he was not in any trouble," Johnson said yesterday during a telephone interview with THE STAR.
The teen, who has dreams of becoming a professional footballer, has to attend therapy twice per week as a result of his horrifying experience. Additionally, he has been forced to sit out certain physical activities due to the nature of his injuries. Dealing with the new realities, his father said, is a hard pill for the teen to swallow.
"The football season is coming and he will miss pre-season preparations which starts in the winter. Right now he has taken his mind completely off visiting Jamaica again. He has told me, 'Daddy, I am never going back to Jamaica'. It's not a nice feeling hearing him say that because Jamaica is our place of birth," Johnson said.