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July 24, 2018
‘They took my heart’ says mother of slain man

“They didn’t take my hand, they didn’t take my foot, they didn’t take my eye, they took my heart… he was grown, but he was my child.”

Those are the words of Veronica James, the mother of 25-year-old Arnos Vale resident Marcus “Mac 10” Sandy, who was shot about 10 times and killed around midnight last Thursday, July 19, in Arnos Vale.

Sandy was killed while walking home. He received bullet wounds to a hand, one of his arms, his stomach and chest, among other areas of his body, while one of the bullets grazed his face, according to his mother.

James said she heard the shots that killed her son and told SEARCHLIGHT on Monday that when she heard the loud sounds, she did not know for sure they were gunshots, much less aimed at her son.

She said that on the fateful night, she spoke to her son via cellular phone, at 10.58 p.m. and he told her he would be home in a while. When he did not arrive, James said she called him back at 11.42 p.m. and asked him jokingly if he was not fed up idling on the road.

“…about two, three minutes later, I heard what sounded like gunshots. I was not sure if it was gunshots, but I said if it was gunshots it couldn’t be him, because he couldn’t reach in the area where I heard the shots coming from so quickly… I never thought it was him,” James told SEARCHLIGHT.

She said she called him back four times, but got no answer and a few minutes later she received a call from a neighbour and was given the heart-wrenching news that her son was shot. James jumped into her vehicle and drove to the area and saw the spot cordoned off and her son on the ground.

She said the police refused to let her get close to him and after a while she reversed her vehicle all the way home, jumped in the shower and drenched herself from head to toe.

“I don’t know the circumstances that led up to my son’s death, but I know for sure that my son was not fearful or worried, or seemed anxious about anything, because he walked freely up and down the street.”

“If my son had done anything to anybody, if he had owed money and someone come to me and say your son owe me a million dollars, I would have sold my soul, because I never gambled with that boy,” stressed James.

She said that investigators have not given her any explanation and she has not heard any reasons why Sandy was shot.

“I don’t know what my son could have done to anybody, but anybody who knows me know that I never hid my son’s faults. He was not a talker, but I could see his distress if he was in any, and I did not pick up anything. Sometimes we think we know our children, but we don’t, but I do not believe that my son was hiding anything from me,” James commented.

She said that her son would usually hang out in Arnos Vale near the Options Supermarket and she would take food for him there, as well as call him regularly as they were very close.

“He was unemployed, but I supported him,” said James who revealed that last December, on two separate occasions, burglars tried to break into the home she shared with her son and in one instance he chased the person with a wine bottle, and the other time he ran them down with a baseball bat.

“I know that there are a lot of negatives being said because he was gunned down, but if my son was involved in any gun action my son would not have chased a thief from my home with a baseball bat, or a wine bottle. He would have a gun, and then the next thing is, he was never concerned about walking that street anytime of the night,” said James.

She added, “I was sitting a few days ago and saying I am sorry for the parents of these young people who are dying, and I never thought that in a couple of days it would have been me.”

“I do not know how I am going to function. That child was my life and I feel like I have nothing more to live for.”

Sandy who would have celebrated his 26th birthday on October 31, will be laid to rest this Sunday at the cemetery in Belair, after a church service at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Fountain. Viewing is at 1 p.m.

He is the 12th person to have died violently here in 2018.