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Chateaubelair residents in shock over shooting death of community star

Chateaubelair residents in shock over shooting death of community star

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by Adrian Cadogan

Residents of the town of Chateaubelair are still in shock, following the news of the shooting death, last weekend, of one of the community’s rising stars, 25-year-old Aljay Shadrick Douglas.

Douglas grew up in Chateaubelair and began singing as a toddler, performing at local churches {{more}}and other events until he moved away to Campden Park, about five years ago.

His mother Juline Douglas told SEARCHLIGHT that she is saddened by her son’s demise and that she would miss him, even though he didn’t visit that often.

“I’m feeling it, but I just can’t cry right now,” the distraught woman said.

She said her son was good to her that she was very proud of him.

“He could really sing! He happy, he is with my mother now; I done cry for her,” she further stated.

Arden Tannis, a retired inspector of police and director of the SVG Police Youth Clubs, who had been a father figure and musical mentor to Douglas, told SEARCHLIGHT that he is devastated by the circumstances of the young man’s demise and that his heart goes out to his family and the entire community.

“I was Inspector in charge of the Chateaubelair Police Station 2009 and a court prosecutor during my tenure in that Police District. It was under this setting that Aljay first came to my attention,” Tannis said.

“He was a teenager plagued with the effects and ills of a broken family, absent father and a lot of put-down by some members of his community. These, coupled with the challenges of adolescence, made Aljay a very confused teenager.”

Tannis said he saw in Aljay what the teen did not know existed within himself.

“I saw a talented, gentle, yet strong and kind young man trapped within himself. Entombed by a situation that was not purely his making, a teenager that needed help. I befriended him and became his mentor. I regarded him as my son. Within a few weeks we developed a very close relationship.”

The retired police officer said that Aljay confided in him, his hopes, dreams and aspirations.

He told me: “Dad, I am going to be a singing star, better than Chris Brown, but I want to be a police officer first.”

According to Tannis, Douglas felt that he did not stand a chance to become anything worthwhile if he stayed in the community in which he was born.

“Nevertheless, these inhibitions never dampened his ambition. He was willing to do anything to turn his life around,” Tannis said.

“Aljay was gifted with a beautiful voice. He would sing songs for anyone at any time and any place! That’s how much he loved singing. In fact, Aljay’s first official public performance came as a surprise to everyone, when he agreed to sing at country music karaoke contest at the Peace Memorial, Kingstown, June 2010.

“It was his first time doing karaoke and a musical genre that he never thought he would ever sing. Yet his unrehearsed performance brought the only standing ovation that night. Since then, Aljay never looked back. That contest was the vehicle that took him out of his proverbial prison of Chateaubelair. Aljay went on to do background vocals for many of our international artistes.”

Tannis said his association with Aljay only lasted until 2012, when he retired and migrated to the USA.

“During that time, Aljay made thunderous strides in self-improvement. In three short years, Aljay had turned himself around from being a troublesome teenager in his home town Chateaubelair to actively assisting the police in Kingstown and going as far as putting himself in harm’s way to assist in the apprehension of an armed criminal.”

Tannis said during his last visit home in 2014, he saw Aljay and he seemed to have been “getting his act together.”

“There were signs of maturity in the way he carried himself. He had just about gotten rid of his teenage demons and had set his sight on a bright future that will never be,” Tannis lamented.

Douglas became this country’s fifth homicide for the year, when he sustained two bullets – one to his stomach and another to his face, at about 2:10 a.m. on May 1, at Campden Park.

According to a police press release, Douglas was the doorman at an event dubbed ‘Water, Soca and Alcohol,’ held at the Campden Park playing field, when the incident took place. The report stated that preliminary investigations show that Douglas was at the door when he was approached by a hooded male, who shot him. The assailant reportedly relieved Douglas of a purse containing gate money and fled the scene.

Douglas, a resident of Campden Park, who went by the monikers ‘Chris Brown’, ‘Chadric’ and ‘Militant’, died on the spot.

Funeral arrangements for Douglas were not known up to press time. Police are still investigating; no arrests have been made.

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