Christopher's Story

Christopher was the youngest of three brothers. Jovani was born exactly one year and one day ahead of Chris and Alexis was born December 1980. Chris had to find his space in the family so... he became the family clown. He had a very good sense of humor and was always kidding around but he was also very sensitive. The first time he saw " Hook " he cried when they killed Ruffio. He couldn't understand what was happening to him because he was so young at the time, but we reassured him that it was all right to cry when someone passed away. Little did we know that we would be doing a lot of crying for him.



He was very good-looking and very athletic. Sports just came easy to him. He played baseball when he was small, then he played basketball and football. His latest sport and the one he enjoyed the most was Karate. He had been in Karate for the last four and half to five years. He was a brown belt at the time of his death. He would have been one of the youngest black belts in our school. He earned many trophies, including a first place trophy he received just a week before he passed away. His teacher made him a black belt at his funeral.


On March 2, 1998, Chris came home and told his mom that he had been suspended from school for fighting. Actually he never hit the kid, he only blocked the punch. However, someone saw what happened and took him to the office. He was in the office for nearly four hours and neither parent was called to say he was in trouble. He was told that he would be suspended for ten days and if this happened again, he would be sent to reform school. This terrified Chris, since he had never been in trouble before. His mom told him that they would talk about it when their Dad got home, just like everything else. In this family we have a round-table discussion about important issues. Jovani has a slight learning disability so he had a tutor. The tutor lives about ten to fifteen minutes, round trip, from their house. The mother told Chris to stay home so he could finish his homework and take a shower, and she went to take Jovani to the tutor. The older brother, Alexis had gone to the Hammocks Police Dept. where he was involved in the Explorer Program.

When the mother returned to the house, she found Chris laying on the bed. He looked like he was asleep but when she called to him and he did not respond, she immediately called 911. With the 911 operator already on the phone, she went around to the other side of the bed, where she saw on the floor the gun and she also saw a bullet wound on the side of Chris' head. The father arrived a few minutes later to find the mother outside screaming.

Chris was taken to Miami Children's Hospital where he remained for four days. The "accident" happened on Monday evening and on Thursday morning he was taken off life support because there was no brain activity. By law he had to be disconnected.

Since Chris was a child who did not like to get into trouble, we are convinced that he thought he had let everyone down by getting into trouble in school and decided to take his life. There was nothing else going on in his life to make him want to do this. He had just started a new school but he had already made many new friends. He was very popular, especially among the girls. He was looking forward to getting his Black Belt in Karate in the Summer and also to a family ski vacation in December. His teachers from the previous grades looked at his files to see if there were and indications of trouble, but there was none. And even now over one and half years after his death we still can't see any other reason for him to have taken his own life. There were NO warning signs.

The reason we know he did not think about what he was doing was because he did do his homework and he did take a shower, as his mom told him to do. If he were planning on taking his life he would not have done either one, he would not have cared. Also, Chris was very attached to his mother. On Sunday's when his Dad went to play softball and invited them to come along, if his mother did not go he would always stay with her so she would not be alone. If he would thought about what this was going to do to her, he would have definitely not have done it.

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