Youth gunned down, another injured in daylight shooting
Automatic gunfire, scampering feet, fleeing pedestrians and screeching tires were all part of the movie-like scene that played out on McCoy Street, Rose Place last Friday, June 16.
And when the confusion settled, sometime after 5 p.m.,17-year-old Kemel Peters of Green Hill lay dead in the street, while his friend Shamaai Hazell of Paget Farm, Bequia, was rushed to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH), where he is currently housed, nursing gunshot wounds.
âThere were a lot of people telling him to go back home, but he developed a habit and it hard to change it and he didnât want to change that,â Kemelâs father, Edmond Peters, told SEARCHLIGHT on Monday, standing in the porch of his cousinâs home at Green Hill.
The father of the deceased boy said that he had become estranged from his son, as the boy did not want to abide by certain rules that were set down and was continuously getting into trouble.
Edmond said that Kemel no longer lived with his family and had taken up residence somewhere in Edinboro, but would daily come to his motherâs home in Green Hill to eat.
Edmond said he last saw his son two weeks before the incident and last spoke to him in December 2016, but Kemel had visited his mother on Friday, about two hours before he was shot.
âThe problem is, ah mean it hard to say, I try to bring him up in a proper way, but from the time he went to Emmanuel (The Dr JP Eustace Memorial Secondary School), his life take a different trend,â the grieving father said.
Edmond said that a few years ago, one of Kemelâs friends was stabbed and when that friend recovered, Kemel seemed to change completely.
ââ¦No matter how we try, he would show signs that he is behaving, but it only last for a while,â said Edmond, who is advising youths to be careful of the company they keep.
âCompany is bad and company is good, but when you fall with the bad company, itâs a change in your life and unless you turn around, itâs problems,â stressed Edmond.
âHe wanted his way from what he saw from his friends. I wasnât brought up that way and I didnât want he to come up like that, I tried, but it just didnât work,â said Edmond, who noted that Kemel grew up in the same house and same room as his brother and the two are nothing alike. Kemel also has a sister.
âYou can do as much and you can only try and hope and pray that they take telling and hope even if they go in the wrong direction, sooner or later they say, this is not what I was brought up in,â said Edmond, adding, âWhat pains me is when I look around and see all the young guys in his age group he was around and he branch out from them; now he dead.â
âHe had it made, but seem like he didnât want itâ, said Edmond.
Kemelâs mother was too distraught to comment, but Cecelia Haynes, Kemelâs cousin, said that it is tough seeing his life cut short in such a way.
âHe left here about minutes to three and then we got a callâ¦we still trying to process that,â said Cecelia, who added that simply saying the crime situation in St Vincent is out of control is an understatement.
ââ¦Nobody being held accountable and since the death penalty is no longer around; they know they can go into prison and come back and do things and get away,â she lamented.
The relatives of the deceased boy are hoping that the authorities can do something about the crime situation and the youths who are going down the wrong path.
Kemel, who would have celebrated his 18th birthday on September 29, is a former student of the Lodge Village Government School and the Emmanuel High School Kingstown (The Dr JP Eustace Memorial Secondary School).
On July 4, 2016, Ottley Hall resident Karon âTwinâ Bowens discharged a firearm at Kemel and missed, hitting Aaron Delpesche of Chateaubelair instead.
On Monday, May 22, Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias sentenced Bowens on firearm possession, discharging the said weapon at Kemel and maliciously wounding Delpesche. Kemel testified against Bowens.
Bowens was sentenced to five years in prison in relation to the firearm and given an eight-month prison term for discharging the firearm. He was also sentenced to two-years imprisonment for maliciously wounding Delpesche. The sentences are running concurrently.
Reports were that Bowens had assaulted Peters twice before and on JâOuvert morning 2016, about 8:30 a.m., Peters was at Randyâs Supermarket and he saw Bowens running towards him with a firearm. The court heard that Bowens fired a shot at Peters; however, the bullet caught Delpesche in his hand.
Peters is the 13th person murdered here this year.