The heartbroken mother of a man who was killed in an alleged accidental shooting on Saturday said he was meant to start a job on Eleuthera on Sunday.
At approximately 5.p.m., on Saturday, police reported that Lavardo Fernander, 37, was with a group of coworkers at the rear of a residence on Faith Avenue South, when one of the coworkers attempted to clear a high-powered air rifle.
It was reported that the weapon discharged hitting Fernander to the upper body. Paramedics visited the scene and pronounced the father of five dead. His Majesty’s Coroner also visited the scene.
Police are questioning a 27-year-old man in connection with the incident.
Fernander’s mother, Michelle Aranha, said she was in the Berry Islands getting ready for work when she heard the news. She caught a flight to New Providence on Sunday morning.
Aranha, 55, described her son as a “teddy bear” and a “lovable, nice” guy. She said he worked as a boat captain, carpenter and as a cook. On Saturday, she said he was tying up loose ends before a planned move to Eleuthera for a new job.
She said her son’s death may be an accident but it doesn’t mean it isn’t without consequence.
“I am of the belief that if you are clearing a gun, it will have a safety,” the grieving mother said.
“And they are saying it is an accident, but how can an accident cost me a child that I had for 37 years, leaving behind five children of his own?”
Aranha spoke to her son on the morning that he died. During their conversation, he bragged about some work he just completed, she said.
“Something like this is not what you really get prepared for, something like this is not what you would really think,” she said.
“Behind him stands five children. What is an accident going to do for them to be taken care of? Four of them still need to be taken care of by their parent. What is going to happen to them now? I will do the best I could to make sure — they are my grandkids — but you can’t accidentally kill my son and just expect nothing to come out of it. That’s not fair to nobody.”
Fernander’s five children are ages 18, 16, 12 and seven-year-old twins.
“He was a godsend, good father. He was that hands-on father,” Aranha told The Nassau Guardian in a phone call on Sunday.
“When he was younger, he, you know, touch and touch. But now, he was real hands-on. He [was] always there with his children, always there taking care of them.
“That was his main goal in life, to take care of his children; make sure that they know he was there for them at all times. That’s what he did. He always made sure that he spent time with them. That’s what I loved about him; he was an exceptional father for a young man.”
Sergeant Desiree Ferguson warned members of the public who may possess similar rifles to the one involved in the incident on Saturday.
“We take this time to encourage persons who are in possession of firearms such as an air rifle, BB guns, to ensure that they have the proper license to authorize and operate and carry those types of weapons,” Ferguson told reporters on the scene of the incident.
“We also encourage persons to exercise extreme safety when operating those types of weapons. That means when you are clearing the weapon, when you are cleaning the weapon, so that we are able to prevent future incidents of this nature from occurring.”