Last update: 06-Dec-2013 9:53 pm
Friday, December 06, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Trini woman shot dead in New York
A Trinidadian woman who migrated to New York to escape an abusive relationship was shot dead by her estranged lover in the West Indian community in Brooklyn. Sellis Gonzales, 44, the mother of two, was killed instantly. The killer sent her daughters on an errand to a nearby eatery before he committed the act.
In a telephone interview yesterday from Brooklyn, Kirt Gonzales, the brother of the dead woman, said for women to stay in an abusive relationship on the premise that the man will change only results in more pain and even worse, death. He said his sister was shot six times around 8.45 pm on Wednesday. A report from the New York Daily Mail said Sellis’ daughters Khadija, 15, and Alyssa, five, were given $8 by the killer to get food at a nearby chicken eatery.
When they got back some 15 minutes later, they found their mother motionless on the floor. She had been shot three times in the head and midsection, police sources told the newspaper. The Daily Mail said police identified Sallis’ ex-boyfriend as Eric McCormick, 40, who remained at large yesterday. Sellis moved to Brownsville, Brooklyn, when she was 31, as a result of trying circumstances.
“My sister’s second baby’s father used to also abuse her and when I found out I immediately told her to pack her bags and I sent a ticket for her. I wanted her out of that situation. I wanted her to have a better life and to get away from the abuse,” Gonzales said. He never thought his sister would again end up in another abusive relationship. Relatives, he said, tried “many times” to coax Sallis to end the relationship with the suspect but she did not take heed.
“I guess it was just a matter of dating the wrong guy. My mom and I spoke to my sister many, many times,” Gonzales said. “She wanted to let go but she couldn’t. I think it’s really a matter of women having respect for themselves and to demand that respect from the person they are with.” Despite the abuse he never thought his sister would be killed. “I mean she was shot six times. I thought it would be a black-and-blue eye but I never thought she would be killed. I was not expecting death,” he added.
He said he intended to apply for legal custody of his nieces. Urging women to immediately “walk away” when they spot the first sign of abuse, Gonzales said the message must be spread that women must not be subjected to any type of abuse, whether physical, mental or emotional.
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