Youth fatally shot by accident
Front Page
March 16, 2007
Youth fatally shot by accident

A single 9mm shot to the head halted the potential and possibilities that were wrapped up in 18-year-old Franko “Ozo” Roberts, and his mother wants the record to be set straight -“my son did not commit suicide.”

On Wednesday, March 7, the buzz of early morning hustle was muted in Glen after a shot rang out at around 7:30 a.m.{{more}}

Police were at press time continuing investigations into the circumstances that left a mother of three heartbroken; left with only the memories of a loving son who spun her around, told her she looked sexy and beautiful each time she was going out.

The police are investigating the report that Franko was showing another relative how to operate the 9mm pistol he had brought home the previous night. The gun, according to reports, accidentally went off and he was shot in the head.

A police release indicates that the gun and a spent shell were recovered from the scene. The police have not indicated whether or not they have ascertained if the gun was licensed and to whom it belongs.

“I know whose gun killed my son,” was the cry of a grieving Hazel Ann, when SEARCHLIGHT visited her recently, days before the burial last Sunday of her eldest child.

In a desperate plea, that would almost certainly go unheeded, she is calling on all the men in Glen to bring in their guns to her so that she could turn them in. Hazel Ann said that her son should not have been able to borrow a gun so easily.

While the police’s statement spoke of a gun usage demonstration, SEARCHLIGHT was reliably informed that in addition to that, Franko and his young relative were also taking pictures of their poses with the gun to be used with a new mobile phone as screensavers.

“He wanted to be a technician, I went through a lot with him in his earlier days, he was such a loving boy,” Hazel Ann told SEARCHLIGHT.

She was on her way to work when she got the gut wrenching news. She said that it was upsetting to hear how quickly rumours of suicide spread and wanted so much to put a stop to them.

“My son was a happy child, he got everything he wanted, and I was a good mother to him,” she said.

Franko who graduated last year from the Intermediate High School with four of the six CXC subjects that he did was hoping to get into the Technical College in September.

“I still can’t believe he is dead,” said Hazel Ann, who at the time she spoke to SEARCHLIGHT was making preparations for his funeral, which was held last Sunday, March 11 at the Glen Christian Church.

As she adapts to her loss and finds the strength to continue to live, Hazel Ann who has two other sons, Richard, 15, and Mark, 10, thanked everyone who called and supported her in her hour of grief.

She had high praise for her employers of five years, the Forde family, including Senator Rochelle Forde who she says has been of tremendous support to her. Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace was also in contact with her.

Meanwhile Franko’s shell-shocked father, Owen Roberts, a security officer who resides in St Maarten said that he will miss his son with whom he had a great relationship.

He said that since he has returned to deal with his son’s death, he has been speaking to the young men in the area, hoping that they would realize that guns are not toys and should be avoided at all cost.

“Keep away from guns,” was his straightforward advice.