GoLocal Interview: Stacey Lee Tessier — Mother of Shooting Victim Joseph Santos’ Daughter

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
GoLocalProv News Team

Tessier and Santos - parents of a 9-year-old girl
Stacey Lee Tessier, the mother of Joseph Santos' daughter, told GoLocal that Santos -- who was killed by police on Thursday, November 9 -- was one of the nicest people she knew.

“He was fun, loving, and would do anything for anyone. Never had a mean bone in his body,” said Tessier in an interview from her home in Florida.

Tessier and Santos -- he is the victim of the police shooting last Thursday on I-95 --  are the parents to a 9-year-old Juliana. She is a third grader in Florida.

“My first thought was I had seen the videos — I had no idea it was anyone I knew, ” said Tessier, who told GoLocal she first learned it was Santos when his sister called her to let her know the news.

“I still don’t want to believe it was real,” said Tessier.

At first Tessier told their daughter that her father was in a car crash. “Then, I told her that the police thought a bad person was in Daddy’s car,” said Tessier.

As the two are traveling to Rhode Island this week for the funeral, Tessier it was critical for her daughter to know the truth.

Funeral arrangements are now being finalized by Santos' family.

The Worst Part

Now, Tessier said she is getting threatening messages on social media from people who insult Santos and say he was a criminal. “It is so disturbing,” said Tessier.

She is the first to admit Santos has had a difficult life, but was never violent.

“We met in a program for troubled children when I was 14-years-old. We dated on and off for years and first I moved to Florida and he had moved down and we got back together. I stayed here and we went our separate ways. We talked on and off for years,” said Tessier.

Tessier said after the relationship ended and their daughter was born she stayed permanently in Florida. “There was nothing in Rhode Island anymore for me,” said Tessier.

“We talked about three months ago. We never ended on a bad word. He just didn’t fight," said Tessier. 

She said their daughter talked to Santos in January or February just after Santos’ father had died.

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