The flamboyant Romario West, popularly known as Papa Moggler, was 13 years old when his mother Lorraine Thomas and three other people died in a motor vehicle crash in Kitson Town, St Catherine.
The tragedy boggled his mind for a lifetime, but he mustered the strength to become the staple of parties in and around his rural community of Duxes in Point Hill, St Catherine.
West drove a Toyota Isis, wore the latest brands, lived in a posh house, partied extravagantly, and even launched his clothing line a few weeks ago.
“When I die, I want to be remembered as the youth from nothing to something,” he wrote on social media Saturday night, July 21 – a few hours before gunmen murdered him.
His body was found, along with that of his neighbour 20-year-old Daniel ‘Gaza’ Jones, on Barry main road in Guanabovale shortly after seven o’clock Sunday morning. West was 24.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force, which confirmed the double murder, is yet to apprehend the killers or disclose a motive for the crime.
Sources close to the party promoter’s family told Jamaica Beacon that West, his sister Dakisha Hamilton and their neighbour went to the ‘Hardball’ party on Saturday night at Church Pen in Old Harbour, St Catherine.
The three returned to their home in Point Hill.
The sister went into the house, leaving West and his neighbour sitting outside.
It’s not clear what happened immediately afterwards, but West and his neighbour were found dead with gunshot wounds a few hours later, miles away from their homes.
West’s motorcar was still parked at his house.
One of West’s sisters, Shishana West, told Jamaica Beacon she is not aware of her brother being involved in any wrongdoing.
“He was a jovial, easy-going person who loved to party. He was fun to be around and he loved his family very much,” she said.
“I don’t know of him doing bad things; he is a very hard-working youth.”
West, a past-student of Jose Marti Technical High School in Spanish Town, worked at various places, including Worthy Park Sugar Estate for a short period of time. He also operated a Toyota Corolla motorcar on the Ewarton to Lluidas Vale and Point Hill route.
West was heavily involved in party promotion on social media, and he voiced several ads for other promoters.
A source close to the family told Jamaica Beacon that West benefited from insurance paid out in relation to the death of his mother in a motor vehicle accident in 2007.
“His mother was travelling to her home from Spanish Town; he was just 13. She called and told him to meet her at the gate with fare. He was there waiting at the gate, not knowing his mother died in the accident. So, it really affected him,” added the family friend.
“If you want to see him get emotional at a party, play a song about mothers. He would pay for it to pull up. That’s him.”
The family friend added that West, after the death of his mother, received special assistance from his relatives – especially those abroad. He grew up with his sister, Dakisha, who is a few years his senior.
West was active on social media and would frequently update his pages. Some people think he revealed too much information, especially about his whereabouts.
“He was even using Snapchat on his way back home from his last party, not long before they killed him. Before the party, he announced that he was going to be there. This whole thing is very sad, because it seemed he was just achieving all he wanted,” the family friend said.
By Horace Mills