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Fatal family feud

Child, 4, killed; uncle among three arrested

BY HORACE HINES
Observer staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

FREEMAN'S HALL, Trelawny — Irate residents have handed over to the Trelawny police a man accused of invading a house in this community and killing a well-loved four-year-old girl in a pre-dawn gun attack that left the child's father injured yesterday.

Three people, including, the brother of the injured man, are now behind bars as the police continue their probe into the circumstances that led to the deadly attack.

“...We [also] have an individual we believe to be the shooter and a female that he was with earlier [in custody],” commanding officer for the Trelawny Police Division Superintendent Kirk Ricketts told reporters last evening.

Police reported that at about 1:00 am yesterday Dalton Brown was at home with his family in Freeman's Hall, in the southern parts of Trelawny, when he was called outside by an individual. When he refused to go outside an armed man forced his way into the house. A tussle developed between Brown and the gunman and shots were heard.

It was later discovered that Brown's daughter Chloe was shot in her abdomen and her father shot in his leg. They were both rushed to hospital where the child was pronounced dead and her father admitted for treatment.

The Trelawny police theorise that the gun attack, which resulted in the first murder recorded in the parish since the start of the year, stemmed from a domestic dispute between two brothers.

Last year domestic disputes accounted for most of the 21 murders recorded in the parish, according to police statistics.

“There is some indication that this incident could be correlated to an earlier incident, a couple hours back. Brown held a small birthday party and during that party there was an altercation between him and his brother where a vehicle was driven and one person hit another vehicle. It resulted in a physical altercation with the brothers,” said Superintendent Ricketts.

“Threats were made and the disappointing thing is that the police were not informed. We believe that if we were informed last (Sunday) evening we could have probably been able to intervene and prevent this tragic circumstance,” he added.

The killing of the well-loved four-year-old girl left residents of the community traumatised and angry.

Her mother, Keriesha James, affectionately called Melissa, who was a picture of grief when the Jamaica Observer visited her home yesterday, could hardly speak and had to be consoled by family and neighbours.

“My daughter was loving and kind to me. She loved her father more than how she love me. My daughter,” she moaned, as tears streamed down her cheeks.

“Mi hear the shot a buss' and mi hear mi daughter cry out. That's the last of my daughter,” she sobbed.

Chloe's grandmother, Hazel Campbell, recounted that her granddaughter was very fond of her pet cat.

“A nice little girl. She has a cat and she would always hold up her cat. Anything she eat, she give her pet. Cheese trix, food, everything; is a nice little girl. Everybody in the community loved her,” the grieving grandmother stated.

Shawnette Fraser remembered the four-year-old as a regular churchgoer. “She was a nice girl who was always in church,” Fraser said.

Demar Price, another resident who tried hard to contain his grief, also had fond memories if little Chloe.

“The community in trauma, the community mad at the moment. It's a friendly little girl and mi miss her. The little girl nice; she had a lisp tongue and she talk sweet,” said Price, who stated that he was the one who carried the child and her father to hospital.