Ricardo Prosper, a friend of three boys who died tragically in separate incidents this month, held his head in grief yesterday as he sobbed uncontrollably outside Anatol Rodgers High School.
Prosper told The Nassau Guardian that what hurt him most was that he “couldn’t save” his friend.
Friends, family members, teachers and administrators gathered in remembrance of the boys, who all attended the school.
Ninth-grader Leo Dorcely, 15, was killed in a hit-and-run on Unison Road, off Carmichael Road, on July 2.
Sixteen-year-old Cornell Edwards Jr., who was in grade 10, committed suicide in his home on July 14.
Dustin Ranger, an 18-year-old alumnus of Anatol, drowned tragically in waters off Eleuthera on Tuesday, July 16.
“Dustin, he was my track buddy,” Prosper said, choking back tears.
“We always used to compete against each other.
“And CJ, he was my basketball buddy and we were always helping each other out, giving thoughts, just having each other’s backs.
“Leo, we used to just clown around. Every time I was sad or what not, he was just there making me laugh.
“To find out all three of them gone is like, it’s hard for me. It’s hard.”
He added, “Me and CJ was supposed to go out on my birthday, and just to find out he gone, it’s hard.”
He said that although he and Edwards were close friends, he had no idea that he was suicidal.
“All three of them was happy,” he said.
“All three of them was chill.
“I didn’t know CJ was going through that. Me and him is talk about everything, but I didn’t know he was going through that.”
He added, “I feel sorry for myself. I couldn’t save my boy.”
The principal of Anatol Rodgers, Harcourt McCoy, presented the families of the boys with financial donations to aid with their funerals.
“We are deeply moved as a school by what has happened, and as a close-knit family, we share in the burden of death with these families, our extended families,” McCoy said.
While family members of Ranger and Edwards were not in attendance, Dorcely’s sister, Leona Dorcely, was in tears as she accepted the gift.
“He was outgoing,” she said of her brother.
“He was fun. He was an overprotective brother.
“We were really, really close because we’re only a couple of months apart.
“I don’t even have much to say because right now, like I can’t even think right now.”
Dorcely said her mother has been having a difficult time.
“She’s trying to hold it in,” she said.
“I know she’s trying just for us, the rest of the children, but I know she’s not doing all right.”
Altrez Bennie, who was a close friend of Ranger, reflected on their friendship after the vigil.
“He was like a brother to me,” he said.
“He used to attend Anatol, and he graduated like two years ago.
“We used to go around the corner where I live, round the corner by his house. There was a group of us that used to chill out and play ball.”
He added, “Dustin, he had my back for everything, and I loved him.
“I still can’t believe he’s gone. I have to have proof that he’s gone. He was just a good person, and he had more ahead of him.
“I don’t know why he had to go.”
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish