Ricardo Williams should have been back home in Toronto this week, preparing to go back to school at West Hill Collegiate Institute. Instead, the body of the 14-year-old boy, affectionately known as “Shangu”, lays inside a morgue in Kingston, where he was on vacation. Williams had migrated from Jamaica four years ago to be with his father in Canada.
On August 12, he and his stepmother arrived on the island for a near three-week visit to the tough inner city neighbourhood of White Lane, Olympic Gardens. They were scheduled to return to Toronto on Monday, August 31, but Williams never made it – he was shot dead on Sunday under mysterious circumstances.
“All I know, I took him to his bed and I went to my bed,” Williams’ stepmother Charlene told Loop News during a visit to the community on Tuesday. Charlene said she was shocked when she heard that her stepson was shot. “One of his aunts knocked on my door and said, Shangu get shot!’… I said ‘no, that’s a lie!’” Williams had apparently gone to a wake in the community and was shot dead early in the morning.
Omar James, otherwise called ‘Judge’, has been charged for the teen’s murder. Charlene is left with just memories of the boy who she described as a “loving and jolly” individual. “Shangu was the best. He was me and his dad’s pride and joy,” she said, holding backtears, as she went through photos of the child with family members and children from the White Lane community. “I did not have a clue that I would be bringing him here and taking him to his funeral.