In Canada: Liberian Mother Who Son Was Killed On August 13 Demands Justice

Source: iHeartRadio

Family and friends gathered at the Chandler Mowat Community Centre in Kitchener to pay tribute to the city’s latest homicide victim.

“My baby was a good boy, respectful to people,” said Joshua’s mother, Evelyn Woart. “He was a quiet boy. He never fought, he hardly talked for that reason.”

Many close to him are still baffled by the circumstances surrounding Joshua’s passing.

“That’s something that we’ve never really experienced in our community. We’ve never had to handle this kind of situation,” said Gapita Sarplah Massaquoi, the spokesperson for the Liberian community within Waterloo region.

“So with that kind of news and especially knowing that Joshua was safe and okay the day before. That was really strange. It was just really shocking to be honest,” she added.

According to Woart, Joshua was born in Liberia, a country located in West Africa.

“I sponsored him here in 2019. Since he was born, I was always in communication with him,” she said. “He loved people. He loved to be around people. He would rather make me angry to satisfy people.”

SUPPORT FOR JOSHUA’S FAMILY

Worart said the local Liberian community has been her saving grace since receiving the news of her son’s death.

“Without them I would have maybe died,” she explained. “They have supported me up to this point. The Liberian community is a very, very good community. That’s why we want justice. It shouldn’t be for Joshua alone. There are other kids out there, or their parents, who are in the same shoes that I am in.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Joshua’s family through this difficult.

HIGHLIGHTING GUN VIOLENCE

Waterloo regional police are continuing to search for the suspect and recently released a photo in hopes the public will be able to identify the individual.

“If there is anyone out there who knows the shooter, the killer of my son, let them come forward and say it,” said Woart. “I want answers for why my son was killed. Why they took away my baby, my 18-year-old innocent baby. When I get up, I’m [always] hoping to see him brew some tea for me [and] he’s not there.”

The shooting has also brought to light concerns surrounding senseless gun violence in the community.

“Guns are not toys. You can’t come back from using a gun on a person and expect a different result,” said Sarplah Massaquoi.

This incident proved to be even more painful for those close to Joshua, given their harrowing experience in Liberia.

“We have war in our country for 24 years, so we know what guns are. We don’t play around with guns, we don’t even allow our kids to have toy guns because of the severity of how traumatized we, the parents, are when it comes to the usage of guns,” said Sarplah Massaquoi. “The message here is that guns should not just be available for people who don’t know what it’s for.”

“He always talked about coming close to me all those years until 2019, when I finally brought my boy to be killed here,” said Woart while holding back tears.

REMEMBERING JOSHUA

When speaking to those close to Joshua, everyone recalled his giving nature and love for food.

“If he could cook all my food that I had in my kitchen to feed his friends, he would, no matter how much I made noise about it,” Woart said.

Joshua’s love to feed people sparked the idea to have a big spread for attendees during the vigil.

“He loved to see the community happy and eating,” Sarplah Massaquoi said.

In an effort to keep his memory alive, Joshua’s mother plans on launching a campaign highlighting his giving nature.

“[I’m] open to something for youth and feeding people like Joshua wanted to do, to continue his memory. I’ve decided to extend it to Africa for hungry kids and name it after him.”

Source: iHeartRadio

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