‘Gangs remind me of pain every day’

Jacqueline Haydricks says losing her son Lorenzo tore her heart so badly that she is permanently in fear of losing another child.  PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI
Jacqueline Haydricks says losing her son Lorenzo tore her heart so badly that she is permanently in fear of losing another child. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

Parents from Lavender Hill say the pain of losing a child through gang violence never heals.

Often they have to relive the traumatic experience because gangs are always at war, reminding them of the loss they encountered.

One such mother, Jacqueline Haydricks (50), says her life has been a total misery since she lost her son Lorenzo.

“My son was shot on Christmas day last year. He was part of the Junky Funkies and he was shot at home.

“As a parent I spoke to him about this and he said to me it was too late for him to come out now. If he came out they would kill him. He was shot right at our doorstep and when I opened the door he was lying there in a pool of blood. There was nothing I could do, he was dead.

“Though I try to move on, each time I hear shootings, I’m so scared. I worry about my kids. I pray to God to let not another child of mine be shot again. This is so painful,” she says.

Haydricks says her son Lorenzo was a lovely child.

“He loved people and he cared about his neighbours. Every time you would see him he was with people and trying to help. He wanted the best for us in the house.

“Each time I hear a gunshot I think of the day that I lost my son. As long as I’m here I relive the day my son was killed every day,” she says.

Another mother, Elizabeth Williams, says there isn’t much help for the families who lose their children.

“It’s like we just have to deal with it and carry on. It’s not easy. My son was shot nine times in the face. He died right there. He was my baby and my everything.

“Shootings and killing have become a norm in this area. Though it happens all the time you will never get used to it. Each time they start shooting, we have to sleep on the floor. Some crawl under the beds. We don’t want to be hit by stray bullets.

“This is not a normal life. Everyone is in so much fear.

“We want help. We long for the day this will all be over. We just want peace. Young children can’t even play outside because parents are scared they will be caught in the cross fire,” Williams says.

Elmarie Moonsamy, another mother, says her prayer is also to not lose another child.

“I lost my son last year. My life has never been the same again. We want peace in this area. We want an environment where our children will be able to go to school or play outside without fear.

“It’s so traumatising to lose a child. You will never heal, never.”

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