John Lloyd Barrion graduated from Winnipeg Tec-Voc High School in 2021 (photo from Frankie Mapuyan)

By Leila Castro

Nineteen-year-old John Lloyd Barrion graduated high school in October 2021 then immediately found a job in a place that is just a block away from his house. His close friends described John Lloyd as a good person who followed the rules. However, on the early morning just after Valentine’s Day, tragedy struck him. John Lloyd sustained a gunshot wound while working at the beer vendor section of a hotel at 1400 Notre Dame. He was working alone when robbers attacked him before the closing of his shift at 2:30 am. At 3:10 am, he was found fighting for his life and later died in the hospital.

Four days after the tragedy, John Lloyd’s family, friends and members of the community gathered in a vigil to light candles, offer prayers and remember the happier days with him. Despite the blizzard and temperature of -23 degrees, there were over 250 people that came. An indication that John Lloyd is well-loved in the community.

“John Lloyd is an extremely caring and considerate type of person. He valued the people around him so much that despite having a busy schedule, he still found a way to spend quality time with the people he loved,” Frankie Mapuyan, a close friend of John Lloyd, describes him.

Frankie said that one of his fond memories of John Lloyd was having a long drive to Birds Hill Lake with him and friends. Before they got there, they stopped by stores to buy snacks and drinks. As soon as they got there they swam and played games like tag. They ended the day off by having a late-night drive while listening to some tunes.

Maria Barrion calls for justice for his son John Lloyd (photo by Alex Canlapan)

Frankie is 18 years old and works in a restaurant in the north end of the city. Frankie and his close friends find it hard to accept the sudden death of John Lloyd. They asked, “Why John Lloyd?” At the same time, they fear for the safety of youth like them, be it at the workplace or at home. It was only 3 years ago when then 17-year-old Jamie Adao died in a home invasion.

“Our common sentiment is (we see the need) to establish safety standards in all establishments, especially graveyard shifts so that his death will serve as a wake-up call to further enhance safety measures in all establishments,” Frankie spoke about the concern that young workers are not safe in this city. John Lloyd’s close friends started the hashtag #justice4johnlloyd.

John Lloyd’s parents Maria and Manny, and his siblings are all calling for justice. Maria said that she does not want the same tragedy to happen to anyone, because the pain is too much to bear. She called on the government to do everything to protect the children from becoming victims of crime.

The 204 Neighbourhood Watch Inc. volunteers reached out to the family of John Lloyd to provide them with Psychological First Aid. The group also organized the vigil. Joshua Lim started a GoFundMe fundraiser for John Lloyd’s funeral and memorials.

From left- John Lloyd Barrion, John Dela Cruz, Joshua Lim, Eril Dizon and Frankie Mapuyan during happier times (photo from Frankie Mapuyan)

204 Neighbourhood Watch Volunteer Inc. volunteers Rodel Olesco, Denny Nangan and Ponz Mapuyan

Photos by Alex Canlapan