By DARCEL CHOY Monday, June 2 2014
A DOUBLE execution.
This was how police described the cold-blooded murders yesterday of a nine-year-old boy and his 15-year-old brother, who were both shot once in the back of their heads while their helpless mother looked on.
The execution of Jadel Holder, nine, and his brother Jamal Brathwaite, 15, sent the Morvant community where they lived and met their deaths, into a state of shock and disbelief with residents shaking their heads in bewilderment as police and crime scene officers processed the murder scene.
Police sources confirmed that Jadel is the country’s youngest person to be shot dead this year and the brothers’ execution has sent the murder toll for the year to 185.
According to police reports, the boys were at their Petunia Avenue, Coconut Drive, Morvant home relaxing with their mother and neighbour 16-year-old Glendel Alexander, when at about 3 pm, two gunmen entered the house.
Their guns drawn, the men ordered the brothers, Alexander and the brothers’ mother to all lie face down on the floor. The men then stood over Jadel and Jamal and shot both of them once in the back of their heads. The brothers died instantly, while their mother watched on helplessly.
Police sources told Newsday that Alexander, fearful that he too would be executed, jumped up from the floor and made a dash for the door while a gunshot rang out, with the bullet hitting him in the leg. As he fell, the gunmen left the house, clearly not interested in killing Alexander nor the dead brothers’ mother, whose identity police refused to reveal.
A report was made to the Morvant Police Station and Alexander was rushed to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital where he was treated and up to press time remained warded in stable condition.
When Newsday visited the scene yesterday, the murdered brothers’ mother was nowhere to be found with residents only saying she had gone to the home of friends in Morvant where she was being comforted.
Officers of the North Eastern Division led by Sgt Cornelius Samuel and including PC James Stafford and others visited the scene and conducted investigations.
The District Medical Officer later ordered the bodies of Jadel and Jamal to be removed to the Forensic Science Centre in St James where autopsies will be done today.
A resident, who refused to give his name out of fear, lamented the death of the nine-year-old saying people just don’t care who they kill whether man, woman or child. “Imagine in little Trinidad a nine-year-old is executed just so. What would a nine-year-old have done to deserve such a death?”
Another neighbour said the brothers were known to be troublemakers to some but to their neighbours and those who were their friends, Jadel and Jamal were pleasant and polite youngsters who were no better or worse than other youths in the area.
Police sources said no motive has been established for the double executions but they believe it was gang related based on the manner in which the two were killed — by a bullet to the back of the head fired at point blank range.
Police sources said that Jamal was well known to them. Up to press time, no arrests were made.
According to police sources, 12 teenagers have been gunned down so far this year. They include Ishmael Bain, 19, who was killed on Nelson Street in Port-of-Spain on January 6.
On January 15, 19-year-old Jabari Thompson was shot and killed in La Horquetta while on January 21, Aleah Cain, 15, was shot and killed in Belmont.
On February 1, Corvin Anthony, 18 was shot and killed in Malick, on February 8, Akile De Silva, 19, was shot and killed in Carenage and on February 23, Jeremy Thomas, 19, was shot and killed in Curepe.
On March 2, Ishmael Alleyne, 18 was shot and killed on St Paul Street, Port-of-Spain while on March 9, Ackinton Walker, 16, was shot in Barataria and succumbed to his injuries later that day at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope.
On March 31, Kenkerishe Gumbs, 16 was shot and killed in Laventille.
On April 12, Kriston Gibbons, 19 was shot and killed in Malick, on April 20, Akil James was shot and killed in Morvant and on April 28, 17-year-old Christian Gomez, was shot and killed in Valencia.