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Wednesday 22 January 2020
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‘Killer is a monster’

Granny of 12-year-old boy shot dead with father

WHOEVER killed 12-year-old Keyon Gill is a monster!

His grandmother, Karen Spencer, believes they are heartless and “have a black hole where their heart supposed to be.” She wants to see the killer or killers hanged, and called on Police Commissioner Gary Griffith “to deal with them.”

“The child was shot in the head. That person is a monster. It have monsters walking around this place and they not getting killed but you watch a child and shoot him in the head?”

Spencer spoke with the media on Saturday at her home in Febeau Village, Laventille Road, in San Juan. Two spaces away on a couch was Keyon’s mother, Dana Peruza.

“People like they don’t know what is going on and they just like to talk. They saying my child is a 'zesser' because he had on a white jersey and a short pants and slippers. He was a loving child. A darling. A real sweetheart. He had a smile to light up the world,” Peruza said, clutching a throw cushion as she began crying, leaning back in her seat.

Mother and daughter sat on the couch, ends apart with an unidentified relative in the middle. The agreed to the interview but did not want their photographs taken. Outside were cousins and other relatives. Throughout the interview, a child kept entering the room to give Peruza a hug. The family did not want to be photographed or videotaped.

Spencer said her grandson lived with the extended family from birth. On weekends, the form one student of San Juan North Secondary School, usually spent time with his father, Clevon Gill. But with no more exams he took the extra day on Friday to be with his father.

What happened?

The father and son were found murdered in a white Nissan Sylphy, on Friday evening. Both had been shot in the head. Hundred dollar bills were in the console between them. Clevon was slumped over on his son, who, still safely buckled up, was slouched in the front passenger seat. Police said joggers along Lady Chancellor Road found them around 6.45 pm after noticing the car idling and the windows frosty. The horrific find was made when a jogger decided to open a car door and then called police.

The cash left behind by the killers was widely talked about on social media. Even National Security Minister Stuart Young referenced it when he identified that “cash is king” in his contribution in the Senate on Saturday to demonetise the paper $100 bills for polymer.

Police at the scene on Lady Chancellor Road, Port of Spain where the bodies of Clevon Hill and his 12-year-old son Keyon were found shot dead in a car on Friday night. PHOTO BY ROGER JACOB -

At the scene on Friday night, Peruza collapsed and had to be taken for medical attention. She confirmed that Clevon, who she was separated from, was deported from Grenada last month after being charged with money laundering when he was arrested with US$20,000. Clevon lived at Frederick Street, Curepe.

“We don’t know why they were there. His dad lived Curepe. He never had any complaints with his father and his father would never put his child’s life in danger. He loved the dirt his child walked on and vice versa. Everything was his father,” Peruza said.

Keyon always wanted to ‘halp’

Keyon was not sure of his career choice. One day, he told his relatives he wanted to be a police officer, another time he wanted to be a mechanic but his grandmother recalled he always wanted to help and to live in a three-storey home.

“He loved to cook too, he used to make bake and thing, and lentils peas and dumplings, and could season a chicken real good. Since he small he always by me wanting to “halp”. He could’t say help good but he wanted to 'halp'.”

Peruza said she was planning on taking her son to Panama for his 13 birthday which is one day after hers. For Christmas, he wanted clothes and money and he made his request known to all who would ask.

Peruza said: “I don’t know what to feel, I don’t know how to live again. I don’t know how to carry on with my life. Because he was my life. My one and only.”

Spencer said Keyon was loved by the neighbourhood. Grown men, including her two sons who she said she never saw cry, were crying. The family found out about the murder through social media, the women said.

The family, Spencer said, was not doing well and they need to get counselling.

“After they shoot my son, you went home and sleep?” Peruza asked, as if talking to the killer.

On her Facebook page, St Ann's East MP Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, the area's representative, said: “Yesterday (Friday) we were all horrified by the tragic death of this little one. This is indeed a sad day in our country. On behalf of all of us in St Ann's East, we mourn his loss and offer condolences to his loved ones. We pray for swift justice.”

Police Commissioner speaks

The killing of Keyon and his father pushed the murder toll to 501. Last year the country, recorded 518 murders. In November, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said the Police Commissioner was “getting it done” in the crime fight. On Thursday, National Security Minister Stuart Young said the police service should not be judged based on the murder toll.

“You can’t just look at the homicide rate and judge police service. There is a perception of crime and there is crime. And I think any sensible and straight-minded citizen will accept that a lot has been going on and in the sphere of fighting crime,” Young said.

Griffith, in a media statement on Saturday, said: “There is little or nothing police can do before someone is about to commit an act, the best way to minimise such homicides is to implement policies prior to the action, which is what we have been doing. We have been arresting persons in possession of firearms, however, it becomes more difficult if not impossible when persons are held, they are simply given a 'red carpet' to go back to streets to finish the job they started.”

He added that what the country should be concerning is not that the murder toll crossed 500, but consider the 499 plus before it.

“The Police Service is doing all that it can, so obviously there is a concern, but instead of asking the police if we are concerned, I will ask that the same question be asked to those who defend, as their jobs, the cold-blooded murderers to get them back on the streets as quickly as possible, you should ask them that question.”

He added that those in the criminal justice system who “grant bail to criminal elements, where bail is granted easier than getting doubles on a Saturday morning,” should be asked about the murder toll.

He also questioned those politicians who “amend the laws stating that these individuals have a right to be back out on the streets."

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