Several young people were among mourners in Linstead, St. Catherine, who bid farewell to 31-year-old handcart vendor Omar Anderson, better known as Brucky, on a grief-filled Sunday afternoon, July 5.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force reported that a gunman approached Omar, who was selling food items on Fletcher’s Avenue shortly after mid-day on February 19. The killer pulled a firearm, shot Omar and then escaped in the area.
During the funeral service, Samantha Minott, who delivered the eulogy, said her cousin was slain two months after he started to operate his own handcart business in Linstead town – selling mainly ground provisions.
“Omar branched out on his own only for two months and two weeks when the hoodlums came and robbed my cousin of his dream on February 19, 2020. My cousin was determined and he knew what he wanted – death was not one of them,” she declared in a church, which adhered to social distancing protocols to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Minott told the gathering that Omar left Ewarton High School at age 15, and went to work at a lumber yard because he wanted to earn his own money.
He subsequently started to sell fruits, but gave up on that business because it was said to be too slow.
Omar eventually resorted to selling goods in Linstead with other persons, but his dreams were bigger than that.
“He started selling on his own because he had bigger dreams. Omar wanted to make more of himself; he was hungry for success… Omar was a pleasant and jovial young man – always sweet-talking his customers and ensure they leave with a smile on their faces,” Minott told the congregation at Linstead Seventh Day Adventist Church on Faith Avenue.
She added that Omar was eager to own a car and a house. He also applied for a passport in October last year, because he wanted to travel on the government’s overseas employment programme.
Omar, who spent nearly two months in hospital after being hit by a car during his teens, is from Heathfield district in Linstead.
He however relocated to the Trinity area when he was 16 years old.
Natoya Henry, who spoke on behalf of Omar’s Trinity friends, said the young vendor loved children.
She added: “One thing about Omar that made him stand out is that he always kept a listening ear and gave a helping hand to a friend in need. Omar loved children. No matter whose child, ‘Brucky’ a romp with them. I knew he would become a great dad some day…
“Omar was optimistic, feisty and caring. There was never a dull moment around him. Omar was an adventurous person who loved getting all dressed up, and nobody nuh boasty like him when him ready fi goh out,” Henry further said.
Omar’s girlfriend, Shinika Davis, in a statement read on her behalf, said her lover was patient, kind, honest, and hard-working.
He was also a big fan of Dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel. “He loved Vybz Kartel so much; I don’t know which song he didn’t know,” the girlfriend said.
She, like other speakers who delivered tributes, noted Omar’s love for children.
She continued: “Omar and all of the Trinity family lived like brothers and sisters. This moment him and everybody cuss, the next day they turn back friend.”
The girlfriend further stated that Omar loved to use the word ‘darkness’.
That word was often used by young people especially after the hearse left the church and made its way to Commodore Cemetery, where Omar was interred.
Marijuana, various liquors, and handkerchiefs were among items buried with him.
“A prison mi come from come hear seh dem kill yuh Omar,” one young man shouted while touching the casket moments before it was placed into the grave. Another young man lay inside the grave until he was ordered to exit to allow pall bearers to put the casket inside.
Omar was born on June 1, 1988.
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