News

Gregory Archer's wife a broken woman

BY COREY ROBINSON Observer reporter robinsonc@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, April 01, 2013    

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What was supposed to be a peaceful father-son walk on Good Friday transformed her into a single parent, a widow, who now cries herself to sleep at nights.

Donnette's husband, Gregory Archer, 42, president of the Waterloo Mews Citizens' Association, was murdered by gunmen shortly after 7:00 am on Friday. The incident occurred in the vicinity of upper Montrose Road in Kingston, police said.

According to investigators, Archer was shot in the lower abdomen and left thigh by his attackers who reportedly spoke to him briefly before pouncing. He died at hospital.

The incident unfolded in full view of Archer's nine-year-old son, who has been devastated ever since.

"It's hard, clearly it is hard. It is even worse because my son was there and witnessed everything," said a mournful Donnette yesterday. "He is breaking out, he can't understand why someone would do this. All he wanted to do was go for a walk with his father."

Donnette -- who in December celebrated 10 years of marriage to her children's father -- said the boy had been receiving counselling. So far, however, it has done little to assuage his grief.

What's worse is that the mother will have to break the news to her three-year-old son, and time is running out. The boy will celebrate his fourth birthday Wednesday.

"We have not said anything to him yet in terms of where daddy is or what has happened, but we have to tell him by Wednesday," said the mother, breaking into tears.

"We can't have his birthday party without his father. But how can I tell him? What am I going to say to him?" she sobbed.

Almost oblivious to the sombre mood within his household, the toddler, Donnette said, was excited about the visits by his many relatives, some of them children, who have come to offer their support. "But we know that he knows what is happening because he has just been breaking out, doing little things that he would not normally have done," said the mother.

The horrific weekend began like any other.

Her husband got up early, took a shower, and offered to take the boys for a walk. The younger child asked to stay in and sleep with his mother, while the nine-year-old -- who was more fond of his father -- opted to go.

Archer was killed 15 minutes away from the home of his children's godfather', his intended destination.

Police said the gunmen watched the father and son from a parked motorcar before pouncing, and that they sped off in the vehicle after the incident. Archer, his son screaming beside his wounded frame, was taken to the University Hospital of the West Indies by a group of security guards. He died there, said the cops, who noted that several 9mm shell casings were taken from the scene.

The police on Saturday had still not identified a motive for the killing. Yesterday, Donnette could not think of any either.

"He did nothing wrong. He was fun-loving, thinks about everybody. He sacrificed finishing his own MBA so that I could complete mine. He was the one person I knew that still thought there is hope in people, in Jamaica, in terms of safety."

"He would have never processed that what happened would have ever happened to him," she said.

Yesterday one of Gregory's grieving friends told this reporter that: "I think you need to scare people with this story. Jamaica needs to know that good people, family people, are dying, and what are we doing about it?"

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