When Garvet Foster on Nov. 6, 2014 uploaded as his profile photo on the social networking website, Facebook, a picture of him with a gun in his hand and some bullets nearby, his girlfriend, Kenisha Patterson, saw it but said nothing.
She told I-Witness News on Wednesday that she actually has on her phone a copy of the photo, in which Foster is smoking what looks like a “spliff” (marijuana cigarette).
But Patterson and other relatives and friends of Foster’s, along with some commenters on Facebook, have objected to I-Witness News using the same profile photo in a breaking news story about the shooting death of Foster in his Central Kingstown community of Green Hill Tuesday night.
Police said in a statement on Wednesday that Foster, a 33-year-old labourer, died after being shot around 8 p.m. Tuesday.
“Reports are that the deceased was attacked and received several gunshot wounds about his body, after he alighted a minibus on his way home.
“He was pronounced dead on the spot by the coroner. A postmortem examination is expected to perform on the body,” police said in a statement.
One of Foster’s brother, who gave his age as 17, told I-Witness News at the scene Tuesday night that he found his brother in a nearby drain after the shooting.
Foster’s heart was still beating, but he died shortly after, the younger sibling said.
When I-Witness News visited the family Wednesday, Foster’s mother said that she would not comment on the death of her son.
“I have nothing to say. All am doing is I am leaving everything in the hands of God. Whoever killed my son, they will have to answer to God. I will bury my son. And as God said, who ever killed him, I done forgive him,” she told I-Witness News.
But Patterson, who was present at the time of the interview, told I-Witness News, “The picture that you all used is not nice”, and inquired about where it had come from.
“But that is not a decent picture to put down for a young man,” said another woman, who said she was a friend of the family, after hearing that the photo was Foster’s profile image on Facebook.
“You paint the boy as if he is a bad man or a bad person,” she further said.
“You know when you have these dead so, people will look at the person that the person is a bad person. It’s a child I see grow up, go to school, and everything. I mean to say everybody has their ups and downs but this youth man was a very nice youth man.
“Up to this morning, I heard people chanting him. I had to put in my mouth,” the woman told I-Witness News.
Asked who uploaded the photo to Facebook, Patterson, who has a child with Foster, said, “He put it there. But the same how you got the profile picture you could have gotten another picture.
“We are just saying the picture is not appropriate and we will like it to come down, please,” Patterson said.
She admitted that she had seen the picture before Tuesday night.
“I have it on my phone also,” Patterson told I-Witness News.
Asked if she had asked Foster to take down the photo, she responded, “No, I didn’t. But that was his choice to put it up; it’s not nobody else’s choice to take it and publish it.”
The photo received 26 “likes” when it was initially uploaded and a further 14 when it became Foster’s profile photo again in April 14.
But some persons in Foster’s Facebook network expressed displeasure with the photo.
“yes really what u thinking some thing just don’t need to be known and everyone who liking this don’t…boy stop that nonsense,” one person commented on Nov. 7, 2014.
“It’s not just family and friends view your Facebook account , official do also. Why you always want to make yourself known as a badass and put a big target on your back,” another wrote that same day.
Foster responded “Stweeepppppssssss”
Foster’s girlfriend promised to send I-Witness News via Whatsapp a “more appropriate photo” of Foster but had not done so at the time of publishing this story.
Foster’s death was not the first story about him in the local or regional media.
In January 2013, he was jailed in Grenada for entering that country illegally, during which time he reportedly inflicted multiple gunshot wounds on a Grenadian man.
Media reports out of the Spice Isle said that Foster went to Grenada via boat sometime between Nov. 3 and Dec. 1, 2012 and allegedly attacked Kester Aban, then 33, at Aban’s home in St. George’s on Dec. 1, 2012.
Foster was also accused of committing burglary at San Souci, Grenada on Dec. 1, 2012 by unlawfully breaking the dwelling house of Kester Aban.
He was also accused of attempting to commit robbery with violence on Dec. 1, 2012 and was also charged with causing grievous harm to Kester Aban.
Foster also allegedly fired gunshots into the personal vehicle of a police detective after attempting to rob him shortly after the shooting incident.
Foster was sentenced to three months in prison at Her Majesty’s Prisons in St. George’s on the charge of entering Grenada illegally, and was remanded to prison on the other three charges.
I-Witness News does not know the outcome of the other charges.
At home in St. Vincent, Foster was injured during a shooting incident at Gomea Spa just after midday on Aug. 15, 2014.
Wilford Woodley, 29-year-old of Belair, died on the spot after being shot several times about the body by unidentified gunmen.
Forster received a number of shots to his lower body.