DAD, 2 SONS MURDERED
By NALINEE SEELAL and SEAN DOUGLAS Saturday, February 9 2013
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KILLED: Jameel Melville shot dead....
HOURS after he performed as a backup prop for 2012 calypso monarch Duane O’Connor at Thursday night’s National Calypso Monarch finals at Queen’s Park Savannah, 16-year-old Shakeel Melville, his brother Jameel Melville and their father Kerwin Melville were brutally gunned down while watching television in their Laventille home yesterday morning.
While his brother and father died instantly, young Jameel died at 11 am yesterday while undergoing emergency surgery at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital (PoSGH).
According to reports, at about 2 am yesterday while Kerwin Melville and his sons were watching cricket on television, two gunmen stormed the Kelly Village, Laventille home and shot the three multiple times.
When the shooting stopped and there was silence in the house, neighbours cautiously entered and saw Melville and his son Shakeel already dead while Jameel was still breathing.
The boys’ mother Portia Bobb, who lives nearby, rushed over to the house on hearing what had happened and had to be restrained by neighbours and police.
Jameel was rushed to the PoSGH and immediately und-
erwent emergency surgery.
A party of officers led by ASP Ajith Persad and including Sgt Swamber and PCs Nanhoo and Romeo as well as officers of the Crime Scene Unit along with a District Medical Officer visited the scene.
The elder Melville worked in the Unemployment Relief Programme while his sons Jameel and Shakeel, attended the Success Laventille Secondary and Russell Latapy High schools, respectively.
Calypsonian O’Connor, who placed seventh in Thursday’s Calypso Monarch competition, was inconsolable yesterday. O’Connor said he was introduced to Shakeel by his choreographer Gregoir Breddy, and having worked with the youngster, was impressed by his kindness, efficiency and good manners.
O’Connor told Newsday that Shakeel assisted in the first performance of his song, “Building a Wall”, and he (O’Connor) regrets not includinig Shakeel in his second song “Seeking Sparrow’s Advice”, for if he had done so, Shakeel may have been alive today.
“He was a warm, gentle and willing person. I did not see him after my first song as I was busy getting into costume for my second song,” O’Connor said.
Through his sobs, O’Connor said the murders had soured his mood. “With the competition out of the way, I was moving on to enjoy the rest of Carnival. But how can I, now that someone I knew, someone so young and full of potential, is now dead?”
“As a police officer, it is sad to see where our country has reached. After singing such a song last night, building a wall...positive things, that a young man could be killed just hours after does not augur well for society. Our country is going through a very bad time,” O’Connor said.
Also interviewed yesterday, were the murdered teens’ mother Portia Bobb who said that only last week, her brother Augustine Daniel, 25, a deaf/mute was killed on January 30, while on the compound of Ready Mix in Laventille, where he worked.
“It’s a war going on in the community. War! Two sides fighting against each other. I took Shakeel and sent him out of the area.
“I left back the next two with their father. When they killed my brother Augustine, we buried him on Wednesday.
“On Tuesday and Wednesday my son (Shakeel) came back home for the wake and fun-
“Last night (Thursday) he passed home after performing at the calypso finals. As it was so late, he decided to spend the night with his father and brother. I don’t know what was the motive. I can’t say. They shot my two sons and their father,” Bobb cried.
She said that after Augustine was killed, she telephoned the police and pleaded for patrols in the area.
“We asked the police for more patrols. I begged them and one night they came but after that they never came back. On Thursday the police called me and asked that I come and identify something with my brother. I told an officer, ‘please send people. We have to keep a little wake. The gangsters are targetting us.’ But he said this area was not in his district.”
Bobb said her son Shakeel had a promising future cut short. “My son was a cricketer. On Wednesday he tried out for North Zone. Just last night (Thursday) he told me, ‘mummy, I made it. They picked me! I’m the next Brian Lara!’ He was so excited,” Bobb said.
“Before he died, he told nurses, ‘tell Brian Lara I love him and Chris Gayle too’,” Bobb said, adding that Melville and his two sons were watching the West Indies play Australia in the 5th ODI, on television, when the gunmen broke into the house with guns blazing.
“Because of these gangsters, people are leaving Laventille. Those who stay, it’s like we are living in jail. We can’t come out, we can’t talk, we can’t do anything. My brother was a deaf/mute. What he ever do anybody? My sons were in school. What they ever do to anyone? Yet, they were all killed,” Bobb said.
“God will deal with them. My sons and their father were innocent. My brother, a deaf/mute was innocent. Is innocent blood shed. They have wiped out my whole family. I have to find money to bury three more people, shortly after I buried my brother,” she cried.
Yesterday, Deputy Police Commissioner Mervyn Rich-
ardson said he is grieved at the triple murders.
“We wish to express our deepest condolences to the bereaved family and the community and assure that we will do everything to bring those responsible for this dastardly act to justice,” Richardson said.
The three deaths pushed the murder toll to 43 for the year.