Men and women cried openly as they sent off Omar Newton this afternoon, 11 March 2018.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force said Omar, who was unable to hear and speak, was shot when he did not comply with an order for him to lay flat during a robbery on January 13.
The incident happened a night before Omar’s 35th birthday at a bar in the Cock Crow area of Top Hill, St Catherine.
Omar did not live in that community.
He, along with friends from an adjoining district called Pennington, merely attendended a nine night in Cock Crow and made a brief stop at the bar where the robbers unleashed terror.
Omar died at the University Hospital of the West Indies on February 23 after undergoing numerous surgeries.
Another man who also was shot during the robbery is recuperating.
Some of the persons who survived the gun attack attended the funeral service – some still reeling from trauma.
The murder victim’s aunt Donna Newton-Wright, in a tribute at the funeral, declared: “He (Omar) couldn’t speak, but his life speaks for him.”
“Omar has love; he has compassion; and I think all of us or most of us here [at his funeral] should emulate his life… He was always smiling; he was so innocent; he was never sad,” she further told the gathering at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Pennington where Omar lived.
Newton-Wright also implored the shooters who murdered her nephew to confess and repent.
“They shouldn’t have done what they have done, but I leave them all to God. I pray that the Lord may have mercy on those who gunned Omar down; may he bring them to repentance and to confession,” she said.
A similar sentiment was voiced by another of Omar’s aunts, Cynthia Smith, who spoke on behalf of relatives living in the United Kingdom.
“May the Lord grant each of us his peace and forgiveness as we forgive those who have taken Omar’s life,” she said. “We admire Omar for his tenacity and zest for life; the remarkable way he conducted himself from an early age. He didn’t use his disability as an [excuse] for laziness.”
Omar was a farmer. The animals he owned – a donkey and two goats – were seen grazing near the tomb while he was being interred.
Another of Omar’s aunts, Jennise Brailsford-Wright, in delivering the eulogy, noted that her nephew was widely loved despite his disabilities, and was highly intelligent although he did not attend school.
“Although he couldn’t speak, he demonstrates his love; he wears a smile everywhere he goes,” she recalled.
“Although Omar did not go to school because of his inability to speak, he was able to demonstrate with his hands – demonstrate a high level of intelligence. His communicating gestures were understood by everyone.”
Omar, whose parents are Errol Newton and Joan Brailsford, was raised by his grandmother Alethia Gillespie.
“Dem kill mi baby; dem kill mi baby,” Gillespie wept moments before she left the packed church.
Throughout the funeral service, people in different locations were overheard stating that Omar did not deserve the bullet that claimed his life.
Despite music and dance by a band, the sadness was palpable as pallbearers carried the casket through the streets to the family plot in Pennington.
No one, up to publication time, was charged for the homicide.