Manchester taxi driver Kirk was having one of his usual days — transporting passengers to and from the taxi stand in Mandeville — when tragedy of the worst kind hit him so hard that he is still shaken, three months later.
On that day, he told the Jamaica Observer, he lost one of his loyal passengers and friends after transporting him to his destination.
Declining to give his surname or even identify his friend, Kirk recalled how the day unfolded.
“I pick him up in the park here and took him to his district. When I let him off and [was] on my way back to Mandeville, somebody tell me that them shoot him, so I said, 'No, I just drop him off',” Kirk told the Observer.
“To my surprise I pick up somebody else in the town and them said to me that they killed him. Mi just spin mi roll and go back up there fi see if a true, because mi couldn't believe it,” he continued.
“Mi feel it. It was sad. Them just kill mi friend,” he lamented.
Eventually, he got confirmation that the killing was not gang-related.
“After that, I heard that him sell a car and the person him sell the car to come back for the money. I heard that they catch one of the killers, but I never hear anything else back from that,” he told the Observer.
They had been childhood friends and schoolmates at Chantilly Primary in Manchester.
“He was a quiet, very quiet and fun person,” Kirk said of his slain friend. “I didn't know that anybody would do something like that to him. We grew up from primary school until wi turn big man; a far wi coming from, and fi know seh them just kill him so hurt mi.”
The murder, he said, has made him more vigilant, especially while he's working.
“I have to watch my surroundings and who I communicate with and who I pick up. And you know when it reach certain hours you cyaan really go to a certain area,” he said.
Additionally, he said his family now checks on him constantly when he's out working late.
“When I am out late they call me and [ask] where I'm at, because dem worry for mi because you don't know who yuh picking up when yuh driving taxi,” he stated.
Age: 33 years old
Length of career: Four years