Two 'persons of interest' in custody after Trelawny double murder

BY HORACE HINES
Observer staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, November 24, 2017

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KINLOSS, Trelawny — The police last night revealed that they have two “persons of interest” in custody in connection with a double murder here Wednesday evening. One of the victims was a promising eight-year-old Kinloss Primary School student.

The two are to be questioned by the police.

A male classmate of the grade-three student was among four others shot and injured during the incident in the usually quiet district, which is wedged between Duanvale and Clark's Town in Trelawny.

The deceased have been identified as 25-year-old Annakay Williams and Javaire Lemonte, eight.

Reports from the police are that, about 7:30 pm, three men forcibly entered the house where the six people were and opened gunfire.

In a bid to escape, the occupants of the house bolted for a back door with the gunmen in hot pursuit, still firing at them.

The six people were shot and taken to hospital where Javaire and Williams were pronounced dead.

Yesterday, a cloud of gloom hung over the Kinloss Primary School.

The school's principal, Jaqueline Shirley, told the Jamaica Observer that the teachers have been crying since they received the news via WhatsApp Wednesday night.

“The teachers have been crying from last (Wednesday) night because we got the news from about 8:30. We have a WhatsApp group and we were on the group until about three this morning. And it's the same here,” bemoaned Shirley, whose face was contorted with grief.

“Quite a few of the teachers have taught those children already because they are in grade three now, and the grade-three teacher was on leave when they were in grade one. So when they were in grade one they had two different teachers, who are still here. Teachers in grade two, grade three... everybody is in a state of shock right now. We don't understand what happened,” she said.

Meanwhile, chairman of the school board Telka Holt, who was also a picture of grief, pointed out that the school has been receiving support from the Ministry of Education, which dispatched a group of grief counsellors to the school, the police, and other stakeholders.

“I had to be here because of a situation which took the life of one of our students and another in the hospital. The mourning doesn't just touch one set of children, nor one set of persons, everybody is grieving at this time. All the teachers are crying, children are crying,” Holt lamented.

Shirley described Javaire an “eloquent” boy.

“He is a boy who reasons well. Class discussions; he is involved, he always participates. We have general devotions, and if you ask questions, he is one of the first students to raise his hand. He always has something to say. He was such a pleasant student,” she recounted.

In fact, both the school's board chairman and principal recalled that Javaire was his eloquent and frank self during last Friday's general devotion where the theme was 'God's faithfulness'.

“The teacher said it's God who wake us up every morning, it's not the alarm clock. He (Javaire) put up his hand and he said, 'Miss, if you are dead you won't hear the alarm clock.' So he was not shy, he was frank,” the principal said.

Meanwhile, the Observer was informed that most of the occupants of the house at the time of the attack were family members who lived there, but Williams and the other student who was injured were just visiting.

The double murder pushed the tally in Trelawny to 18 since the start of the year, which is eight fewer than the 26 recorded over the same period last year.

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