Days after Sherlene Charles received death threats and was chopped by a close male relative, the mother of four was fatally shot and her 15-year-old daughter Kimberly Mahangoo was left fighting for her life at hospital yesterday.
The 36-year-old Claxton Bay suspect broke into Charles’s Ste Madeleine home on Thursday night, and carried out the attack on the mother and daughter hours after he called another relative to tell him that he would never see him (suspect) again. The premeditated acts were carried out on the suspect’s birthday, relatives said. Police said the killer went to Charles’s Stoney Hill Avenue, Tarodale Gardens home where he broke the front window, pushed his hands through and unlocked the door shortly after 10 pm.
Charles was home with her two children and other relatives. Police said Charles heard a noise and on checking the living room, Charles was held up by the male relative who asked her several times about a man named Devon. Charles tried to plead with the suspect, but he still shot her in the chest and abdomen. After she fell to the floor, he then shot her in the back. He then went into Mahangoo’s bedroom and shot the girl three times.
Charles, 37, a kitchen assistant at Royal Hotel in San Fernando, died at her home while Mahangoo, a student of the St Madeleine Secondary School, was in a critical condition at the Intensive Care Unit of the San Fernando General Hospital last night.
Charles’s sister, Marie Mahangoo, said yesterday that the sinister act could have been avoided if police had caught the suspect after the first attack on Sunday. She said police told them that they were unable to find the relative even though he (relative) had promised to surrender to police on Wednesday.
Recalling the tragic ordeal, Marie said, “On Sunday night before she went to work from 2 pm-10 pm, she went to the Mon Repos Police Station and reported that she was getting death threats. “He (killer) went in the police station and met her there and she told him in front of the police officer that they can’t make it together and he agreed. He said he would not do her anything, but 10 pm when she reached home, he chopped her up.” Marie said her sister was scared.
“Last night (Thursday) we had now come in, talking and laughing, and she went to her room. It was me, Kimberly and Sherlene, Naim was already asleep, and our neighbour Kerron was here with us. We were laughing and she heard a noise to the back. When she heard this noise to the back she said, ‘all yuh hear that?’” she recalled.
“She got really scared, but we did not hear the noise so we ignored it. I told her I was just going to make a phone call and as I unlocked my phone I just heard ‘bang’ and the door opened. When I ran outside she was standing there and he had the gun against her. All I could do was scream. “He asked, ‘who is Devon,’ but to me, Devon is just her friend. As she said she was sorry, he shot her two times. She fell on the ground, he shot her again. Then, he shot Kimberly.”
She added, “I was scared and when I saw my sister bleeding on the ground, I just started to bawl and tell them to call the police. When I was going to hold her before I check Kimberly, she moved on the ground and spat out blood and she just died right there.” Charles and the suspect had severed ties last Christmas. Relatives were shocked by the suspect’s actions since he had never displayed signs of being violent.
However, Charles’s father, Ashook, said in recent times the suspect began to gamble heavily and his demeanour had changed. Ashook said, “I never knew him to be a bad person until he turned out to be bad. She never made any complaints about him until recently. He sold a property in Marabella and squandered his money. He started to gamble on the machines and my daughter said she can’t handle it.”
Up to yesterday, San Fernando police and Homicide detectives were on the hunt for the suspect, who has been before the court on narcotics charges. Investigations are continuing.