KC teen gunned down by X5 driver

BY DONNA HUSSEY-WHYTE Sunday Observer staff reporter husseyd@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, July 03, 2011

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A distinct air of gloom hung over the Crane Crescent, Kingston home of 17-year-old Kingston College student Khajeel Mais yesterday as his family and friends struggled to make sense of his murder, allegedly by the driver of a BMW X5 motor vehicle Friday night.

The Constant Spring police report that Mais was the sole passenger in a taxi which was involved in a collision with the BMW X5 on Highland Drive in Havendale, St Andrew, about 7:30 pm Friday.

Police say the driver of the X5 apparently exited the vehicle armed with a handgun and fired shots at the taxi, one of which hit Mais in the head. He later died while undergoing treatment at the Kingston Public Hospital.

The driver of the high-end sport utility vehicle sped away from the scene. The taxi driver, who escaped injury, was questioned by the police and released.

Family members said Mais, a fifth former, had left home at about 5:30 pm for a fete at Meadowbrook High School in St Andrew.

"I told him not to go to the function," said Mais' father, Noel. "But his mother was in the room and he went in there and convinced her to send him. So she came out and told me to let him go and enjoy himself with his friends."

Mother and son left home together on foot. Mais' first stop was at the home of his friend Jason Dennis, who lives nearby and was also expected to attend the fete.

However, Dennis's mother told him she had no money to send him to the party and he could not go. This, some feel, may have saved his life.

Mais and his mother then boarded a taxi. At a pit stop at a gas station, the teen told his mother the journey was taking too long, and they parted company.

The youngster boarded the ill-fated taxi in which he was killed en route to picking up another friend.

Yesterday, the elder Mais described Khajeel, his youngest child, as an individual who liked to be on his own, who enjoyed teaching himself things, and who was very understanding.

"He was very jovial, very soft-spoken and was good with children," the Mr Mais said. "Everywhere he went, he had kids going, so he had a lot of friends, a lot of friends."

Some of these very friends sat pensively on the verandah yesterday, trying to grasp the reality of the situation.

Noel Mais also cannot find any rationale for the X5 driver's random act of violence.

"You not suppose to come out with weapon in your hand unless you plan to use it. So he planned to use it," he said.

While Noel Mais is angry about the way in which is son was killed, Khajeel's mother, Allana, had to be removed from the family home; so deep was her grief.

"She had to be tranquilised for two hours last night," Noel Mais explained. "And they advised her that the change (of residence) may be good for her right now, so she gone to stay with her sister."

Khajeel's older sister, 23-year-old Kimberly, wailed uncontrollably as she paced inside, and then outside, the dwelling. She continued wandering aimlessly outside, oblivious to the heavy rain that drenched the Havendale community moments after the Sunday Observer's arrival at the home, and had to be escorted inside.

"I saw him fighting to survive," she said between sobs. "I was at the hospital and saw him gasping for air. My brother was a fighter, he fought to survive."

She spoke of waking him hours before he died, making his breakfast and asking him to spend the day at her daughter's school, where the child was performing at the graduation ceremony in her absence. He did, and videotaped the entire ceremony for her.

Another of Khajeel's sisters, Nichole Mais-Bennett, could not find words to describe the impact her brother's death has had on her. She sat at a desktop computer combing through her Facebook account, viewing picture after picture of her dead sibling.

Meanwhile, an investigating officer from the Constant Spring Police Station said they were awaiting forensic reports on the taxi.

Police have since asked the driver of the luxury vehicle to turn himself in and have appealed to members of the public with information about any black BMW X5 with damage to the rear bumper to call the Constant Spring police at 924-1421, the police emergency 119 number, Crime Stop at 311, or the nearest police station.


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