How Jeffrey Reodica was shot 3 times

Community News & Features Jun 1, 2004 at 12:00 pm

By Marlou S. Tiro

(Exclusive interview with a boy who witnessed it all)

TORONTO–As the real story behind Jeffrey Reodica’s mysterious death slowly unfolds, many questions have been left unanswered. Willie Reodica, Jeffrey’s father already appealed to all potential witnesses to come forward and help them. Since the incident happened on Friday, May 21, up to the time of his death on Monday night, several versions have come out in the open, some of them with conflicting.
All of Jeffrey’s friends have been advised not to talk to anybody about the incident so it was difficult for us, in the media to talk to them too. While following up the story, I was shown Jeffrey’s school. Then, by chance, I met the boy who was right there when the incident happened. He said he was scared to talk to anybody especially the authorities. With assurance for his safety, we were able to convince him to ride with us inside the car so we can ask him more questions. I realized that people with us in te car were tense. So was the boy. I became nervous too especially a young lady who was always checking someone if was following us. While inside the car, we were always on the look out of any mysterious van. This boy, who refused to be identified, was with Jeffrey at the time of the shooting. He saw vividly how Jeffrey was shot and narrated how it really happened.

This was his account:

It all started with a scuffle inside a basketball court on that Thursday, May 20. White teen-agers approached and tried to bully two members of our group.They got our ball and did not want to return it to us. When one of our members tried to get it back, one White boy hit him in the face and pushed him. Another white boy also physically assaulted the second Filipino boy. More so, they were told to “go back to the Philippines and eat rice”. In the hope not to make things worse, we just let it pass. However, deep inside, the two boys did not want to just let it pass.

The following day, Friday, we thought of retaliating. As my friends and I were walking along towards a residential area, the same group of white boys were heading towards us with baseball bats. They thought it was just the three of us. However, some of my friends joined us so the group ran away. We chased them with two of us armed with rocks in our hands. We ran around the neighborhood until Jeffrey who was standing across the street saw us. He asked us “what’s up?”. We told him that we want to hit back on these kids who humiliated us on Thursday. Jeffrey, upon knowing who the members of the other group were, told us that he would also help. He said that these were the same group who physically hurt his cousin. Honestly, we felt the need to retaliate because of what happened that Thursday.

Since there were eight of us now, we split our group. We searched the neighborhood but we could not find anyone. Finally, one of my friends spotted them riding a white van. The van passed a corner where they picked up two boys who were hiding. A lady came out of the van and told the two boys to get in. We were 10 feet away from the van. We went towards the van but suddenly a black car pulled over behind it. Two big men came out. We thought they were relatives of the gang. Then they went back inside their car and drove towards us. One cop (as we came to know later), told us to kneel down and drop the rocks we were holding in our hands. We were confused. We thought these were just guys who wanted to hurt us. They never told us they were cops. The other cop who was driving the car came out from the car, pulled his gun and went towards Jeffrey. He told Jeffrey to drop his rock and kneel down. He pushed Jeffrey down while pointing a gun at him. Jeffrey bent halfway, covered his head with his both arms with his body in a curl position. While the cop driver pointed the gun on Jeffrey, he was also slapping Jeffrey with his left hand. Since he continued on slapping, Jeffrey swirled around trying to prevent the cop’s hand from hitting him. I know Jeffrey did that because he did not know they were cops. They never showed their badges. We thought they were relatives of the other group who wanted to hurt us. While doing so, the driver cop shot Jeffrey. I was shocked and so was the other cop who was unable to move. My eyes simply blinked when I heard the first shot. It happened so fast. I saw him shooting Jeffrey then Jeffrey swirled towards the right, the cop again shot him and I heard again another shot. I was standing close to Jeffrey with the other cop next to me. I saw clearly what happened. I was unable to move. Contrary to other reports, I did not see Jeffrey swinging a knife towards the cop. Nor did we all resist when they told us to gather together.

The next thing I knew, I saw Jeffrey splattered with blood all over, his face down. After ten minutes, one of the cops administered CPR. Then the cops called paramedics. Later, they brought us all to the police station for questioning. They asked us a lot of questions. They asked us in a very rapid manner. All of us were scared because of what we witnessed. We did not know what to do. Our parents