Only days ago, Lorencia Simmons Walkes was a fifth-grade student at Sybil Strachan Primary, who had aspirations of becoming a doctor.
But all of the 10-year-old’s dreams came to a tragic end yesterday when she died in the hospital, a week after she was shot.
Lorenzo Walkes, 36, said he lost his world when his daughter died.
“It’s like my world just got taken from me,” he told The Nassau Guardian.
“Words can’t express. I’m emotionless right now. I want to cry, but…
“That was my world. That was my world. She was my world. She was my motivation and my drive.”
Lorencia was critically injured in a drive-by shooting shortly after 1 p.m. on May 29.
According to police, she was in a group of people hanging out near her home, off Carmichael Road, when three men pulled up and opened fire on them.
Peron Bain, who was also shot in the incident, died en route to the hospital, police said.
Walkes said the loss of his daughter, who lived with him all her life, feels insurmountable.
“For all her life, from she was born, she lived with me,” he said.
Walkes added, “She was a very loving person. She touched the hearts of everyone she came into contact with. She was a real sweetheart, always smiling, always dancing.
“…She was so joyful. Whenever she was around you, she brought a smile. She was always willing to help. I just don’t know…”
Walkes said he spent the last week on edge, hoping Lorencia would pull through.
“I was still keeping faith in God, but it was very edgy because you don’t know what’s going on, if it will take a turn for the worst,” he said.
“I was always praying for the best, but I was really paranoid.”
But he and the rest of the family were left picking up the pieces of their lives when, after fighting for days, Lorencia succumbed to her injuries.
“Everybody is in grief and shock right now,” he said.
“Right now everybody still can’t believe this.”
Walkes said it’s frightening to live in a place where the most vulnerable are lost so violently.
“It makes you scared,” he said, “because at the end of the day, it feels like you aren’t protected.”
Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd released a statement yesterday on his Facebook page noting that he was saddened to learn about the death of the student.
“She succumbed to her injuries in this most senseless, violent act. Her teachers tell me that she was a most loving and happy child, who always greeted them with hugs. We have lost a precious soul. Her memory will never die in our Ministry of Education family.”
Lloyd continued, “On behalf of the Ministry of Education, I extend to her family, parents, siblings and other relatives my heartfelt sympathies and offer prayers for the peaceful repose of her soul, and comfort for her immediate and school family in this time of deep grief.”
Police said yesterday they had a 22-year-old man in custody in relation to the shooting.
The murder count in The Bahamas so far this year is 31.