In a dining room in a wealthy district in the hills above Haiti’s capital, waiters in black outfits whisk plates of crunchy malanga fritters and a creamy cornmeal dish to well-off locals and...
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Family suffers double tragedy
A family has been plunged into mourning after a grandmother suffered a massive heart attack when told that her grandson had been murdered on Sunday night, a stone’s throw away from the family’s Chinapoo Village, Morvant, home. The tragic situation seems all too familiar to this family as another pair of family members passed away under similar circumstances last year. At around 8 pm on Easter Sunday, 17-year-old Akil James left his home to play football with friends at a community basketball court less than five minutes away. James, a Form Five student of Tranquillity Government Secondary School, played football at the court regularly and was considered to be a “good boy” by neighbours.
He was shot and killed shortly before 10 pm while on the court. James’s friends went to deliver the news to the woman he called grandmother, 66-year-old Margarey Hutchinson, who was sleeping at her home at the time. Margarey and her son Michael Hutchinson were awaken by frantic calls and was immediately told the bad news. Margarey had taken care of James since days after his birth. She was told that the child she loved had been shot and killed by an unknown gunman. Margarey’s son, Michael, said his mother, clutched her chest on hearing the news and complained of pains. “She screamed out ‘Oh God! My chest hurting’ so I carried her to lie down and called the ambulance,” Michael said. Michael said he was in shock at the news of James’s death but was more worried about his mother who looked ill and continued to clutch her chest. When the ambulance arrived at the family’s home, an hour later to take Margarey to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital for treatment, relatives feared the worst.
Margarey was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. “I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what is going on. We are all shocked. Akil was miserable but we didn’t know him to be in any bad boy thing,” Michael said. James was a member of the T&T Cadet Force. “He was a normal fella but he didn’t like to listen.” Michael said James had disobeyed a request from Margarey on Sunday. She had told him to stay home and wash his clothes. Instead, he went to play football with friends. The family’s shock goes even deeper as they admit to feeling like they were reliving a nightmare. Last year, Margarey’s grandson Abraham was shot and killed. Abraham’s mother died hours later after suffering a stroke on hearing the news of her son’s death. “I can’t explain it,” Michael said of the coincidence. “It is a very scary thing.” There were no arrests up to late yesterday and police continued investigations into James’s killing.