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Four­teen-year-old Luke Williams, who was shot dead on Mon­day at Singh’s Liquor Mart in St James, had many chal­lenges so­cial­ly and do­mes­ti­cal­ly.

This was dis­closed by his school’s foot­ball coach Regi­nald Chritchlow dur­ing an in­ter­view with Guardian Me­dia yes­ter­day.

Critchlow said he had to al­so play a fa­ther role to Williams. “I don’t live in his com­mu­ni­ty down by The Harp but I re­alise there were a lot of chal­lenges be­cause many times I had to play a fa­ther role, as any coach would have to do at some point in time in try­ing to men­tor the fel­las and keep them in a par­tic­u­lar way.”

He added: “The most im­por­tant thing I used to tell them and him too was that, yes foot­ball has all this glo­ry, but it is crit­i­cal for you to con­cen­trate on your school work be­cause foot­ball is a con­tact sport and one can be in­jured, so I tried to point him to that, I love foot­ball and you love foot­ball but there is a thing that we must un­der­stand that we have to sup­port the foot­ball with the ca­pac­i­ty to live. And in that re­gard, I tried to men­tor him and oth­ers.”

Critchlow ad­mit­ted that many times Williams would not have been in school but would be seen lim­ing in Port-of-Spain.

He said, “Now if he not com­ing train­ing as reg­u­lar and not com­ing to school as reg­u­lar, I would have a prob­lem to play him be­cause oth­ers would say coach­man what is that he wasn’t here for train­ing and so on and you still giv­ing him the chance but I al­so don’t wan­na de­ny him cause I knew he had chal­lenges.”

“He had chal­lenges so I tried to work with him and give him the sup­port to make him feel loved and com­fort­able but it al­ways feels like it is not you alone talk­ing, it feels like oth­ers had his ear al­so...So tak­ing that in­to con­sid­er­a­tion, I would try to talk to him one on one and tell him aye, be care­ful out­side there. There are peo­ple who will use you if they get the chance, to use you for their gains,” Critchlow added.

He al­so said Williams en­joyed play­ing mu­sic and had told him that he would go play mu­sic in par­ties, “but then I would tell him if he’s out play­ing mu­sic at all hours of the week, how can he come to school.

He would say coach­man doh wor­ry.

“I can’t tell him what to do. I can on­ly ad­vise. Be­cause let’s be re­al, fi­nan­cial­ly I don’t know what is his sit­u­a­tion at home. The talk is his moth­er is a po­lice of­fi­cer, which I am aware but still that may not mean that you can take care of all your chil­dren in a man­ner that you may feel sat­is­fied, but we al­so aware and it is my re­spon­si­bil­i­ty to un­der­stand cer­tain things be­cause I can’t give him my bless­ing to do them things. I have to tell him what is right and I can on­ly ad­vise re­peat­ed­ly ad­vise.”

Critchlow said he strong­ly be­lieves that so­ci­ety is to blame and not “mum­my and dad­dy”. “It is the so­ci­ety that led to this. Now that is not to say a sin­gle par­ent can’t bring up a sin­gle child or more but it’s not easy and can’t be done all the time.”

Critchlow strong­ly be­lieves that had he not met his demise as ear­ly as this prob­a­bly T&T would have seen the de­vel­op­ment of a good foot­baller.

Chritchlow said he coached him for about two or three years in the Un­der 14 and Un­der 16 teams. “He was an ex­cel­lent lit­tle foot­baller and any coach that would have seen him would have seen the skill set and po­ten­tial to be a good foot­ball play­er,” he said.

Yes­ter­day, Singh’s Liquor Mart re­opened for busi­ness as usu­al.

Dur­ing the day, po­lice of­fi­cers were seen con­duct­ing rou­tine pa­trols and walk-in checks on the work­ers and op­er­a­tors of the es­tab­lish­ment.

When ap­proached Guardian Me­dia was ver­bal­ly abused by an age­able man dressed in a yel­low jer­sey who claimed that what was re­port­ed in the me­dia was fab­ri­cat­ed.

How­ev­er, he de­clined to say what hap­pened min­utes be­fore Williams and his 32-year-old friend, Claude Sandy, 18, who were both un­armed, were shot by the busi­ness­man who used his li­censed firearm.

Po­lice of­fi­cers found no gun on the scene and in Sandy’s car.

A woman, who was in the shop told the Guardian Me­dia, she was told by the po­lice not to give any com­ment.

But, a po­lice of­fi­cer dur­ing one of his check­up vis­its con­firmed that since the in­ci­dent Singh and fam­i­ly mem­bers have re­ceived sev­er­al death threats.

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