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‘He was always running from police’

The father of a man shot and killed by police on Wednesday night said he was not surprised to find out he was dead.

Barry McPhee Sr., 57, said his son, Barry McPhee Jr., 29, was known by police as ‘The Runner’.

“…I have a little job on the corner where I [was] working and I heard the shots and everything…so I said to myself, ‘That [must be] my son. He broke off running and the police [probably] shoot him or something like that.’ I didn’t really take it seriously, so I went back on my job and finished work. I didn’t really know that was him who go shot,” McPhee said yesterday afternoon.

He said his son was always running from police.

“Every time he [saw] the police he [broke] off running. Last time, he [broke] off running through the yard here, he got shot in the back there. You know what I mean? The police [were] in the road here and they had some in the back there so when they run him, he went in the back.”

Police reported that after receiving reports of gunshots in the area of Quintine Alley, off Wulff Road, shortly after 10 p.m. on Wednesday, they saw Barry McPhee Jr. on the roof of a home.

McPhee shot at officers several times before escaping from the roof and running toward Woods Alley, according to police.

Police said officers who were on Woods Alley saw a man emerge from nearby bushes and ran toward them.

McPhee was reaching for an object in his pants before officers who were in fear for their lives shot him, police reported.

He died at the hospital.

His mother, Sharon McPhee, 55, said she spoke with him minutes before he was shot.

“That’s a dream you can’t wake up from because he [is not] coming back,” said McPhee, adding that she felt numb.

“I [am not] even over one son who [died] yet. I [am not] even over one. Now the next one gone.”

She said she lost her eldest son in August 2016.

“I mean I really don’t know what to say,” she said.

“I [am not] lying. I don’t have the heart right now to even say [anything]. I don’t even have the heart to cry; that’s how bad I feel.”

McPhee’s family claims he was shot on three other occasions.

Speaking of the shooting that took his life, his mother said she heard the entire incident as it happened.

“I heard about six gunshots around 10:30 p.m., 11 o’clock,” she said.

“I [knew] he was outside sitting down so I called him, and I [said], ‘B.J., you hear that? All them gunshots? Come inside and lock the door.’ Then he said, ‘Mummy, I alright. I right here to the door standing up.’

“So I looked out the window and he was right [at] the door standing up. In [another] 15 minutes, I listened and I [heard] another set of gunshots and they [sounded] like they were right in my bed. I jumped up and I looked out the window and when I looked out the window, I saw him jump onto the roof.

“He jumped over the house roof and there [were] like seven or eight of those police who jumped behind him. I heard when one of the police said ‘a black, unidentified male running toward Palm Avenue’ and I [didn’t] hear anything else…until someone [said] B.J. got shot through Woods Alley.”

His sister, Candice McPhee, 34, said she was outraged by the loss of her brother, not only because he has left behind a two-year-old daughter and an unborn child, but because the police waited hours to inform her family of his death.

“They didn’t tell us he [was] dead,” Candice McPhee said.

“We had to find out from [the media] he [died]. I [went] to the hospital. The hospital [told] me they [couldn’t] give out [any] information on my brother and he was already dead. They knew he was already dead and they didn’t tell us [anything].

“We had to find out from y’all and that’s bad. That’s somebody’s loved one. This [is] the worst Christmas ever. I [lost] my brother. My other brother I [lost] two years ago and now I [have lost] my last brother and I have no more brothers. This [was] my mother’s last son. I don’t have [anymore] brothers.”

She said her brother was not a troublemaker.

“The only time you’ll see him get into trouble is if somebody mess with his sisters,” she said.

“That’s a brother’s protection. You understand? Other than that, he [was] no problem for [anybody]. I don’t even understand why the police would even shoot him down in the road. I don’t understand why they would shoot him. He [didn’t] gang-bang. He [didn’t] hold [any] guns. He [didn’t] go [stealing]. He [didn’t] murder [anybody].”

There have been at least nine police-involved shootings for the year.

One of the incidents occurred on May 27 when police shot and killed 20-year-old Deangelo Evans on Sandy Lane, off McCullough Corner, after he allegedly pointed a gun at officers.

According to police, two people were shot and killed by officers last year, one in April and one in May.

McPhee’s killing, like the other matters, has been turned over to the coroner, police said.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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