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Who was Raymond Herisse? – The 22-year old Boynton Beach resident shot and killed during Miami Beach’s Urban Beach Week



By now there’s been quite a lot of media coverage about the fatal police shooting of 22-year old Raymond Herisse on Memorial Day in Miami Beach.  But after 6 days of reporting, I noticed not one story had been done on just who Raymond was.  There’s been plenty of coverage over the incident; how the City may cancel or at least modify the event in the future; over the controversy regarding alleged police destruction of witnesses’ cameras and even a story how Raymond may be linked to a robbery and shooting of a BP gas station.  Lot’s of coverage, but nothing on the life of Raymond Herisse. So I decided to wake up at 6:45am on Saturday to drive up to Boynton Beach, the last known address for Raymond and see what I could find.  I started by locating the BP gas station in Boynton Beach where there was a shooting in November (details here):

And was completely shocked to learn that Raymond had lived literally around the corner from the BP station on a quiet, safe suburban residential neighborhood on Northwest 7th Court:

As I drove around the neighborhood and talked with neighbors, I quickly learned that this was a very nice, welcoming community of mixed socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds consisting mostly of whites, latins and Haitians.  When I found the house Raymond had been living in, it was obvious that it was one of the better cared-for homes on the block.  The neighbor next door, Cathy Vivarttas,  talked with me for awhile.  She explained that Raymond had moved in to the house back in 2005 with his younger and older sisters and mother who was raising all three children by herself.  Cathy explained that Raymond’s mother is Haitian, speaks very little English but works two full time jobs to “keep a house over their heads” and is an excellent neighbor.  Cathy added that right after moving into the house, she and her three children were out in the yard landscaping and gardening and keep it up very well.  Yes, there’s even a white picket fence as shown here:

When I asked Cathy to tell me about Raymond, she said she didn’t know too much except that Raymond had been friends with her son Stephen who was the same age and that Raymond used to come over to help Stephen with his GoPed (a scooter/skateboard).  I tried talking with Raymond’s mother but she said she speaks “little English” and “come back when my daughter is here.”  I noticed the mother’s display of pride as shown by this bumper sticker:

I did catch up with Raymond’s sister who returned home and explained to her I wanted to do a photo essay about Raymond to which she replied, “there’ll be time for that later but right now we’re grieving.  We’ve got a lawyer looking into what happened.”   I returned to Cathy and asked her to share with me anything about Raymond.  She admitted that she knew her son and Raymond were “getting into trouble at times” but there wasn’t a lot she could do because of the hours she worked.  She continued saying that her own son had died four years ago at the age of  18 in an illegal street drag race when his car crashed.  She didn’t think Raymond “was a bad kid at all….after Stephen died, Raymond was the first person to visit my home and express his condolences.  For a kid who was 18 at the time…that’s saying a lot.”  She continued, “it’s kind of ironic….two single mom’s living right next to each other with sons the same age and both die too early in life.”  Cathy began crying and I decided it was time to return to Miami.



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Rick - Great post, Liam!


admin - Thanks Rick….it just seemed strange that in all the media coverage….no one had done a story about the guy who died??

Maria de los Angeles - Wow, Liam. I am so impressed you took the initiative to do this. Thanks for posting.

Former Neighbor - I’d just like to express my condolences to Raymond’s family. My daughter and her daughter were great friends and I know they are all heartbroken. Raymond’s mother has not had an easy time. Working long hours to take care of her family but she is obviously doing something right. Take a look at her two daughters. Smart, kind, polite, respectable….and Raymond was the same way. When I had to tell my 15-yr-old what happened, her first words were “he was soooo nice”. Several years ago, his younger brother Kevin got wrapped up in the wrong group of friends and went down a bad path. He went to juvi and when he came home he knew this was it and his mother wasn’t going to put up with it. Kevin continued to get in trouble, she wouldn’t go bail him out, she didn’t make excuses for him, and she finally told him he couldn’t live there anymore. As a mother that is such a hard decision to make. She has a young daughter at home and Raymond, she decided to protect them by throwing Kevin out to keep him and his thug friends away. Raymond on the other hand always seemed to be a help to his mother. I know he worked and gave money to help his mom. He stayed with his little sister while his mom worked late shifts.

I don’t know what exactly happened that night or the night of the robbery at the BP station that I saw Raymond hang out all the time. I do find it hard to believe the clerk recognized Raymond from a newspaper after the Miami shooting but didn’t recognize Raymond when Raymond stood up at the store all the time talking to the clerks.

Again, I wasn’t there so I don’t know what happened. I do hope that a thorough
Investugation is being conducted so his family can cope with the loss of their son. My prayers are with Raymond’s family.

admin - Thanks Maria.

admin - Wow. Thanks Marsha for adding this comment. It gives even more background–very helpful. FYI: Raymond’s family may or may not see this post so they might not receive your condolences. Just thought you should know. Liam

PLBJ - Thanks Mr. Crotty for doing what journalists have failed to do – investigate and share information. Like you, I searched for a shred of information about who Raymond was. News accounts are identical and none address the fact that Raymond was a living, feeling human being. It’s as if someone doesn’t want people to know about the real Raymond. There was one story which shared brief comments from his so called, best friend, which paints a picture that differs greatly from the press accounts. No news organizations elaborated on this. Again, thanks for following up on your intuition and using your talent and time to share information. If I lived closer, I would love to interview his family and friends. RIP Raymond Herisse.

admin - HI–thanks for the kind words. I wish I could do more.

Janine Bondini - No one deserves to die at the hands of out of control “LAW ENFORCEMENT” morons. They should all be tried and imprisoned for murder in cold blood, and their superiors. The shattered family left behind by this tragedy, of the murder of their son and brother, Raymond Herrisse, will never recover from the pain of this senseless tragedy. The rest of the world sees how out of control the mighty bully USA has become, attacking and invading sovereign nations with their military superiority and unmanned drones dropping bombs anywhere anytime on any country – the true sign of cowardice! Soon they will turn their drones on their own population, as the out of control aggressors in power have no limit to their audacity and destruction. My prayers, my sincere apologies and my tears of sorrow cannot possibly bring any comfort to Ms Herrisse and her daughters, who will live with the pain of their loss the rest of their lives. I am truly sorry for your loss! God bless you!

J - I was there no bs, it’s unbeleivable that who Evers lookin into this can’t see how bad these cops messed up. This will probably be 1 of the biggest lawsuits against police ever. I tried to reach out to a couple news departments but I don’t kno my comments keep getting removed but there is a video where u can see mr. Herrise driving and a motorcycle pulls in front of him revs his bike waits for mr herrise to pass and starts shootin at him that’s y he lost control and that’s y he couldn’t get out of the car these cops didn’t even kno they thought mr herrise was doin the shooting and that’s y they shot him like that real talk like I said I was there u might not beleive me but I swear to god that’s my word if u look at a video 5:40 by borderwilson69 or something like that you can see the footage I’m talkin about and u can see me running at 1:04 away from mr herrise car me n my cuzin I almost got shot by dude on the bike it hit the subway window no bs you can do your homework if u think I’m lying mayb you can make story out of this or something I just hope the family is ok and those stupid ass cops get punished like everyone else that was a overkill no ?

Goodson - R.I.P. Lil bro jus a couple of days ago we where chillin at my crib doin us catchin up on life it’s crazy and sad to see you leave us like this fam I know your in a better place WATCHIN over us I love u fam the whole baby-woodz/murdawoodz im goin to miss u fam u might b gone bt Neva fagotten

Miami Police Assassinate Character of Haitian Youth After Taking His Life – Crime and Punishment - […] According to neighbor Cathy Vivarttas, who lived next door to Raymond’s mother in a mixed-race residential neighborhood in the Boyton Beach area of Florida: […]

Tyrone - To be clear, Raymond was firing shots from his vehicle at officers and bystanders. What are the cops supposed to do in that situation? Perhaps we should all just start carrying guns so that we don’t have to depend on and then vilify cops for protecting us. This story is beyond contrived. Maybe we find it fascinating because we all expected to find out he lived in a ghetto and his mom was a crack whore. What? She loved her son? Shocking!

Miami Police Assassinate Character of Haitian Youth After Taking His Life | Haiti Chery - […] According to neighbor Cathy Vivarttas, who lived next door to Raymond’s mother in a mixed-race residential neighborhood in the Boyton Beach area of Florida: […]

Denise - Hey Crotty – you sick s o b – why have you failed to reposrt the ACCURATE history of young Raymond’s extensive criminal record? WHY?

Ian J. MacDonald - So some “urban youth” with a long rap sheet tried to run over some cops, and so they put him down like a rabid dog.

Sounds to me like they did society a favor.

Cry me a river.

Let’s hope they deport the dead thug’s mama back to Haiti.

Rebecca Olesen - Yeah all he did was open fire and try to kill 5 cops with his car. And the BP Shooting? Yeah, HE shot that dude. Why are you surprised he lived nearby? Common M.O.

And what he had been arrested lik 22 times? The real RAYMOND was a criminal. The whole thing was caught on tape. The videographer can be heard stating someone in the car was firing on police. Get real. Another 2 bit thug.

murdawoodz - ima miss mi bro. jus a few days before dis happen i seen bro at the mall he said he was on his way to south beach for memorial r.i.p fam never forgotten

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