Richland Park is in a state of shock as news relating the death of Jamarie Phillips, who hails from that farming community, were reported on Friday afternoon.
A release from the Royal SVG Police Force stated that law enforcement authorities have committed investigative resources to determine “the circumstances surrounding the death of … [the] 10 years old student.”
The brief continued to detail, “Jamarie’s motionless body was discovered with multiple chop wounds to his neck, head and hands at his home about 12:30pm on 29.05.2020. The police was subsequently informed. The District Medical Officer (DMO) was summoned to the scene and pronounced the body dead. A post-mortem examination is expected to be carried out on the body to ascertain the cause of death. Investigations are ongoing.”
Uncharacteristically, the RSVGPF Public Relations Department did not include details about T-Zan Phillips, the young man who was eventually taken into custody for the alleged nepoticide.
Jamarie and T-Zan are blood relatives; in fact, Jamarie’s mother – who is currently enlisted in the British Armed Forces – is T-Zan’s biological sister. Asbert News Network spoke with a close family member who also explained that T-Zan was very fond of his nephew. This sentiment was also repeated by other persons who weighed in on the devastating developments, on Friday evening.
“He love the youth man real bad because Jamarie is his sister’s child and all of them grew up together. They struggled; they overcame and grew up together because that’s his nephew. They practically raised Jamarie because for the last part of his years his mummy went to join the Navy.”
The extended family resides – for the most part – in the same home and T-Zan, his father and 2 brothers shared the day to day responsibilities of caring for young Jamarie.
At 21 years old T-Zan is a promising soccer player who proudly represented the Richland Park Pride and Joy FC and was already being courted by clubs outside of SVG. According to our source Zaza, as he was affectionately known and two other local players were recently recruited to represent at games in Barbados. His admirable skill on the soccer field as well as his scholastic achievements raised his profile as an attractive candidate for continued investment.
“I think he was the one with the most potential. Meaning that he can play football well – the others can play too – but in terms of the academic level he was at an advantage. Remember he went to Community College [Division of Arts, Sciences et al] and he had come from Thomas Saunders Secondary School.”
Most people who know T-Zan describes him as a cool tempered, quiet person. The gruesome murder for which he is accused, sources say, is far out of his character.
As commentators near and far grapple with the magnitude of T-Zan’s supposed actions several, speculations regarding what triggered his behavioral change abound. One of the most prevalent theories describes some fabled form of religious brainwash. Sources say T-Zan left his father’s house and moved into a dwelling with a young lady widely believed to be his girlfriend and her extended family. It is apparently in this house he was exposed to some level of “religious mind-control.”
T-Zan was apparently overheard, “in the week, I’m talking about days prior – days or a day prior to the incident,” to profess an increasingly overwhelming desire to offer up a martyr in order to win God’s favor. According to sources he never mentioned wanting to hurt Jamarie before.
“What I’ve heard, not what he said but what I’ve heard is that he was talking about he have to sacrifice somebody to meet God and if God told him to kill somebody he would do it.
“The thing is days leading up to that there was an opportunity, I think, that he could have gotten help but I believe the inexperience and the poor judgment of his siblings … they made the wrong decision,” the family source said.
He further recounted unconfirmed reports that T-Zan, “acted out – in terms of showing signs that was not his normal behavior. His sister came to visit the house where he was currently residing and they decided that he was moving really strange and they got him into a vehicle but they didn’t take him to get psychiatric treatment or even for an evaluation.
“They could have taken him to the hospital or to somebody who does do those kinds of things so he could get help – I know we don’t have many psychiatrists in SVG. But they didn’t do that instead they drove up to the same religious people [suspected of brainwashing T-Zan].
“They were gallivanting and only caused a commotion because they were saying things like, ‘ah you put me brother so.’ After that they went back home.”
It took a third party, one of T-Zan’s few confidantes, to inquire about the remedies being sought for his deteriorating mental health condition. “The person who T-Zan confided in had to ask if they had taken him for help and the answer was no, they didn’t go…. I think it’s the following day we got the sad news about what happened. If he had gone to whatever person or institution to get help then who knows, the situation might have been different.
“Then again you nah want go round ah no crazy home because you would be automatically deemed as crazy and you don’t want that kind of stigma.”
This family source described Jamarie as a well-loved and quite loving youngster. “Every evening after school he would pass by his families to say good evening and play with his cousin before he goes home. He always brought a smile to your face.
“He was always back and forth. When he comes he would hug up his Aunties, you know. He was young so he didn’t quite have that one sport that he loved but he would play football or any little sport they playing around the place. Jamarie was a good student.”
Jamarie was killed one day after celebrating his 9th birthday, another source close to the family informed us.
It is unclear who discovered his chopped up corpse but reports are that T-Zan was spotted bloodied while brandishing a locally popular tool that is often times used as a weapon. “When people saw him with the cutlass and blood that’s when they went and check and saw Jamarie,” a one of T-Zan’s childhood friends told ANN.
T-Zan was later accosted by police while conversing with a neighborhood elder who, according to reports, had just prayed for him. He is said to have confessed to killing Jamarie to at least one other community elder.
He was shot while resisting arrest as the police was reportedly compelled to employ that means of forced submission. A video capturing part of the police’s attempt to apprehend the suspect recorded what sounded like 5 gunshots though an eyewitness puts the expended ammo count closer to 6.
“When they asked him to go in the handcuffs he stood up on the tree stump that he was sitting on. 2 police officers tried to surround him – one behind and one in front stretching out his hand. He jumped down and gave the officer one box! The man strong. He mek the officer stagger off from the box behind he ear. And ah officer jumped in like to kick him to get him go down on the ground. After he hit the officer one of them fire off a shot like he was aiming for the foot but the shot just hit the ground.”
After that, we were told, the lawmen had to reconsider approaching T-Zan even though he was unarmed, especially since they had seen some measure of his strength. “Two officers come up and one of them ring off 2 shots and one ketch him so he go down ah ground. He mek ah effort to come up again and ah think they ring off another 2 or 3 more and then one ketch him again in the same foot; just below the knee in the back of his calf, they hit him deh too.”
An injured T-Zan still managed to hop his way, “fast fast” (with the 2 gunshot wounds to his leg) some 50 meters up to his girlfriend’s home where he tried to gain access earlier but was locked out. Unconfirmed reports claim, that family was in the process of evicting him from their home. His jobless state also weighed heavily on his mind, according to one uncle.
Whatever the underlying factors, his neighbors, friends and former schoolmates all agree that T-Zan was not himself in recent times; he was reportedly taken to the Levi Latham Health Centre in Mesopotamia. The family source said they were informed that he was still behaving unlike himself while receiving medical attention for the police inflicted wounds at that facility.