Touching tribute: Friends have paid tribute to Kumi Harford by creating a series of graphics of him. This one has been designed by Malissa Swan.
Touching tribute: Friends have paid tribute to Kumi Harford by creating a series of graphics of him. This one has been designed by Malissa Swan.
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Friends were planning a surprise birthday party for "their boy" Kumi Harford - a father who "would do anything for anyone".

The 30-year-old shooting victim is described as the "nicest guy you'd ever meet" and always smiling and offering advice.

Tributes have been flooding in for Mr. Harford - known as Kumz - who was killed in the St. Monica's Mission area at about 5am on Saturday.

He died just six days before his 31st birthday and friends were planning a birthday bash for him at friend Devon Hairston's house.

Mr. Hairston, of Smith's, called Mr. Harford "part of the family" because his sister Nicole Zuill was his partner for 10 years and he was "a daddy" to her 13-year-old daughter.

He said: "He was a good guy, just a cool guy who really didn't bother anyone. He was so good with children - he was an excellent father and godfather. He would do anything for anyone, he would love to help people. He was looking forward to his birthday on December 11 - we had this party planned, it was supposed to be a surprise.

"Now he's gone and everyone is so sad about what happened."

Mr. Hairston last saw Mr. Harford on Friday at his house.

He said: "He was just his regular self - there was nothing wrong with him, he was just cool."

Mr. Harford attended Prospect Primary and Northlands Secondary, with friends describing him as "kind," "outgoing" and "a bit of a joker".

He did a bit of landscaping and construction work and was a big Devonshire Cougars fan.

Mr. Harford hit the headlines in 2002 when he was fined $500 and banned from owning a dog for 12 months after failing to provide his injured dog with care. He was charged with animal cruelty after the pitbull was found with injuries to his face and legs.

He met the "love of his life" Rachel three years ago. The couple wed a year ago and have a 21-month-old son, Knaledge.

Knaledge has not yet been told about the shooting, with family friends saying he is "playing like normal without even realizing his daddy is dead".

The family lived in the apartment below Mr. Harford's mother's house in the St. Monica's Mission area and his aunt lived next door.

His parents Valita and Larry are "hurting so bad" but "trying to keep strong and put on a brave face".

He also leaves behind a younger brother and younger sister.

A tribute group to Mr. Harford on Facebook had last night attracted nearly 800 members.

The 'R.I.P Fadda Kumi' group includes people's favourite photos and memories.

Cha'von Clarke, who has written two poems for the tribute web page, knew Mr. Harford for eight years. She said: "He was always very supportive of whatever I was doing - he would always stop me in the street and ask how things were going. He was a very caring and nice guy who didn't deserve to die."

Grejai Smith will always remember the "wonderful person" who was godfather to her four-year-old daughter Miracle.

She knew Mr. Harford for 10 years and said he always "looked out for her daughter".

Ms Smith, of Devonshire, said: "He was a good husband and an exceptionally great father - he was great with kids and was always with his son.

Tragedy

"He was always there for my daughter. She can't believe he has gone. She used to love driving through St. Monica's Mission as he would always shout out to her.

"His family is coping the best they can but the greatest tragedy is that his son will now have to grow up without a father."

Stephanie Peters, Mr. Harford's cousin, will remember how kind he was and how he was always smiling. The last time she saw him, she told him to "be safe". "Always," he replied with a smile.

Ms Peters said: "Kumi was deeply loved and admired and will always be in my heart. I hope that his death was not in vain and that the people of Bermuda pull together to stop the anger, the violence and the disregard for human life.

"I find myself asking 'why?' over and over. It's not fair - life will not be the same without you."

Joseph 'Smoo' Hunt knew Mr. Harford all his life. He used to love sitting "talking about dumbness" with him.

He said: "Kumi always told me I was a king in my chair (wheelchair) and always told me never give up. He had a positive impact on me because he always had something positive to say to everyone and always had a smile, even on his down days."

Isarell Wolfe called Mr. Harford her "care bear" as he was always there to comfort her.

She said: "I am going to miss every little thing about him, how we talked about any/everything.

"He always told me things are going to be alright and in time they will get better. He made me laugh and kept me smiling - whether if I was happy or sad he always made my day. He was the sweetest, coolest, humblest, quietest, loving, outgoing gentleman that ever crossed my path - I'd do anything to get that moment back."

Friend Key-Key Spenser remembers Mr. Harford looking out for him and telling him to stay out of trouble: "He was one of the nicest guys you could meet. I will miss riding through the second seeing him sitting outside speaking as I go by."

Lisa James will cherish her memories of her "true friend" as he looked out for her and kept her daughter Mandaya "in line".

She said: "He was the kind of guy you wanted to see when you were out. He had a loving spirit for all and showed it when he saw you - with a big smile he welcomed you.

"I'll miss our talks, exchanging our thoughts, the warm smile.

"He cared for everyone and this caring way was so genuine - I am blessed to have been a part of his life."

Ms James saw Mr. Harford three days before he was murdered. She said he was his usual "loving, kind and warm self".

A 55-year-old man of St. Monica's Road, whose son grew up with Mr. Harford, said he was "a good guy, through and through".

He added: "He was really quiet - he didn't go out and look for trouble, he only cared about his family. Everyone round here knew him, he was just always there. He was a loving, young man."

A 53-year-old woman from St. Monica's Road said: "He was polite - he'd always say hello and speak to you, he never disrespected anyone. He called me Auntie and would always ask after me. He'd say 'Is Anything Wrong?' or 'You need any help today?'"