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‘He was a gem’

Reyes Williams, seven, was playing with friends outside his mother’s home Sunday night, when a stray bullet ended his life.

Reyes, who would have turned eight next month, was killed during a drive-by shooting in Nassau Village. 

“He was with one of his little friends and they just walked out to the road innocently and the people just drive shooting, ‘Boom boom boom,’” Vallance Thompson, the boy’s father, told The Nassau Guardian on Sunday night.

He said his son was shot in the chest and neck.

“It’s hard. I feel it,” Thompson said.

“To be home and then wake up to people calling you to say, ‘Come quickly, your son was just shot.’

“Then, to come here and meet him laying like that in the dirt, it’s not good. It’s not good.”

Thompson said he saw his son earlier that day.

“I been there this morning,” he said. 

“I brought him breakfast and I told him I was coming back this evening. He said, ‘Daddy, I love you. I miss you.’

“He hugged me up and I left. I went home early today. I should have grabbed him.”

Thompson said he promised his son he would pick him up on Tuesday, so the two could spend time together. 

“That will never happen,” Thompson said, choking back tears.

Police Commissioner Paul Rolle said yesterday that three people were taken into custody in connection with Reyes’ murder. 

When The Nassau Guardian visited Sandy Williams’ home yesterday, there was a light downpour of rain and tears. 

A red teddy bear and another stuffed animal sat where Reyes took his last few breaths. 

Sandy Williams said her son was a gem. 

“I had no problem [with him],” she said.

“No back talking, none of that. He was a good boy. My gem. [They] take my world away from me.”

She said she knows her son is in heaven.

Thompson described his son as a sweet, loving child who was always careful in everything he did.

The 7-year-old was entering the third grade at Thelma Gibson Primary School.

Nassau Village MP Halson Moultrie asked several government MPs – including Bain and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson, Fox Hill MP Shonel Ferguson and North Andros and the Berry Islands MP Carlton Bowleg – to visit Williams and offer condolences. 

Moultrie, who was in self-imposed quarantine, spoke to Williams via video call. 

“I am indeed very, very sorry that this tragic incident occurred where some young men felt as they should act in a reckless way and just do a drive-by shooting irrespective of who may have been the target,” Moultrie said.

“That is unacceptable behavior in this modern Bahamas and I’m grieving with you and your family on the passing of your son and we are going to do everything in power to bring a resolution to this matter.”

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Italia Clarke

Italia Clarke joined the Nassau Guardian in August 2020. Clarke covers national, human interest and social issues. Education: University of The Bahamas, BA in Media Journalism

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