When THE STAR visited the crime scene Thursday night, scores of persons had gathered on both sides of the police tapes. Stephens was being consoled by members of the entertainment industry, family and friends. Some of those present were Mr Lex, Khago, Sharon Burke, Scatta, Wee Pow, Singing Melody, KipRich, members of the Ruff Kutt band, Stevie Face, Heavy D, Jimmy Riley, Beres Hammond, Gyptian, Twin of Twins, DYCR, Frisco Kid, Danny Champagne and others.
A teary-eyed Stephens was rather distraught at the death of his 22-year-old ‘son’.
“Mi jus a gather back some strength. My life change forever now. Mi caan believe it. Mi neva yet inna no argument wid no man. Is a likkle yute weh mi have from him a eight years old. Di yute go through school and from dat a me and him dat. My life is not the same, you wouldn’t even understand. Di man go inna school and him deal wid it. Brilliant yute! Him jus have it naturally. My life is a peaceful life and look wah come happen to mi own pickney a mi gate,” he told THE STAR.
He explained that he dropped off Graham at MegaMart to buy a phonecard and went to his home, which is minutes away, to pick up his wife. They left home and went to Carlos Café and were having drinks. It was while there that he got a call from someone asking if Graham had died.
“Mi jump inna mi vehicle and drive home, but mi a call him and caan get him. Mi call mi madda and ask if she see Copper and she seh, ‘no, Copper is not here’. So mi start feel funny now. By the time mi reach home, a dis mi come see. Right a mi gate, mi not even did know seh a yah so. This a di worst thing eva happen. From mi reach a yah so mi deh, mi caan go look pon Copper a mi gate a lie down,” said Stephens, who was standing around the corner from his house.
According to a release from the Constabulary Communication Network (CCN), Graham was shot dead by unknown assailants at his home on Cassandra Avenue, Kingston 10 at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday night.
The release said that Graham was about to enter the gate to his premises when he was pounced upon by a group of men who robbed him of his BlackBerry cellular phone and shot him.
His body was eventually removed at about 2:30 a.m., and taken to the morgue. After the police caution tapes were removed, Stephens and a large group went around to his gate. There, traces of Copper Cat’s blood could be seen leading from the gate to two houses down the road where he eventually fell and died.
Since his death, many persons have been grieving and have been expressing this on the Internet and via broadcast messages. Like many others, Spragga Benz took to Twitter to express his disappointment.
“Jah know mi hurt like Carlyle all over again, him an Copper were schoolmates at Stella Maris and Jamaica College. Condolences to Richie Stephens, mi heart cry,” said the artiste, who also lost his son Carlton Grant Jr in 2008 after he was gunned down by police.
Copper Cat was first introduced into the music business at eight years old, under the wings of mentor Richie Stephens, with the song Stay in School that enjoyed heavy rotation on all the major radio stations at the time. He took a break from music and attended Jamaica College until 2007. He was trying to make his return last year with a song called Life Goes On.
Writer: Sadeke Brooks