One day following his 9th birthday Jamarie Phillips was found dead at his Richland Park home. Police reports say that the young student was “discovered with multiple chop wounds to his neck, head and hands … about 12:30 p.m. on Friday May 29, 2020.”
On that same day members of the Royal SVG Police Force took Jamarie’s 21 years old uncle, T-Zan Phillips into custody in connection with the youngster’s murder. T-Zan resisted the officers’ efforts to apprehend him, allegedly boxing at least one officer in his jaw before being forcibly subdued. “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,” Asbert News Network reported last Saturday.
“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,” the online news source also shared from an unnamed eye witness. He was transported to the Levi Latham Health Centre and later to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in Kingstown.
Reports are that T-Zan’s mental health has been deteriorating for some time now. Some commentators have gone as far as to attribute his mental issues to some unconfirmed type of religious brainwash, believed to have been perpetuated upon him by an unnamed neighbor. “….
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 of even for an evaluation. … instead they drove up to the same religious people [suspected of brainwashing T-Zan]… and only caused a commotion because they were saying things like, ‘ah you put me brother so,” ANN also reported.
Xanique Phillips is T-Zan’s sister and Jamarie’s mother. She enlisted in the British Navy and has been stuck out of country due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The bereaved mother, we are told, professed to not being angry at T-Zan neither does she blame him. According to Alford Antoine, one of Jamarie’s grandfathers, who claims to be in constant communication with Xanique, “she knows that they didn’t grow up like that and it had to be something why that had to happen so.” Antoine was at the time making preliminary funeral arrangements for Jamarie.
Antoine also provided an update regarding T-Zan’s physical welfare, “remember one he foot break so he still at the hospital in town.” As to his mental health – “he ah go and come. He nuh reach back to his full yet.”
Neighbors, former school mates as well as team members from the Richland Park Pride and Joy Football Club are amongst those who are weighing in on the tragic nepocitide incident in which T-Zan is implicated. The consensus is that the alleged murderer suffered from mental health issues which would be largely responsible for the drastic character change that enabled the relatively composed young adult to inflict such fatal wounds on his beloved nephew.
Marlden Scrubb and Orlando Trimmingham are 2 players who accompanied T-Zan and 4 other Vincentians in the 2019 Barbados First Division Football League. They played for the Barbados Soccer Academy with T-Zan ably fielded as a Center Back while Scrubb was redeployed as the BSA’s Goalkeeper and Trimmingham played as a Defensive/Attacking Midfielder. Both team mates remember Phillips as a “good person” who worked hard and “always believed in good/God.”
Trimmingham recalled that the last time he spoke with T-Zan must have been after the gruesome incident of which, he said, he was unaware at that time.
“I called a friend and T-Zan was round she so she gave him the phone and he was asking me if I will give my life for God and par I was and things like that.” The previous Saturday May 23, the two soccer players would share a conversation, “when I was coming from Church … and he did sound like himself but yesterday he sounded way off, me nah want to say crazy but yes.”
Scrubb described the entire affair as “a shocking news to me” while saying, “all now I still can’t believe. Trust I don’t even know what I would say to him because if I see him is just cry I going cry.”
Another close family source expressed heartfelt gratitude at the police officers’ restraint while apprehending an obviously agitated T-Zan, “the cops did the best they could have done. It could have gone another way. I feel if they really wanted to kill him they could have and that would have been much more pain for us,” she said.