A CRY FOR HELP
Parents killed by gunmen; relatives of orphaned children plead for financial support
SAVANNA-LA-MAR, Westmoreland - THE eight children who were left orphaned after their parents were killed in their presence during a brutal attack by gunmen at their Dalling Street, Savanna-La-Mar, home last week Wednesday night are now in desperate need of financial and other forms of support.
The dead parents have been identified as 33-year-old Rosemarie Wilson, also called 'Wendy' and Junior Pilliner, otherwise called 'Tyan', a 44-year-old farmer.
The common-law couple have left behind children, whose ages range from four to 19 years.
Two men have since been taken into custody by detectives who are probing the bizarre incident.
But up to yesterday, the police were awaiting legal representation for the duo, before conducting a question and answer session.
When the Jamaica Observer West visited the Dalling Street residence earlier this week, five of the children were in school, leaving Alrick Pilliner, 19, two of his brothers, aged four and five respectively, at home where bereaved relatives and friends were seen with grief etched on their faces.
They conceded that providing financial support for the children will prove to be very challenging.
But they pledged to do their utmost to care for them.
"Only dem (siblings) alone mi worried about, but mi will push out the same effort my father push out to make them alright," vowed the deceased eldest child, Alrick, also called 'Deno', who is a mason.
"By the help of God mi a go take care of them because mi a hard-working person."
His aunt, Janice Pilliner also pledged her full support for her nieces and nephews.
"Mi in charge of them now. I understand my responsibility will be big, but I will work with it. The main objective is to see to it that they go to school, send them to church and focus on them to ensure they are comfortable," the distraught aunt told the Observer West.
Vivene Malcolm, another relative, in the meantime, said she would like assistance for the relocation of the orphans.
"Mi would a want somebody give them a nice little house spot and build them a nice little room. Even me husband could come in and do the carpenter work and so. But mi no want them stay here so," Malcolm expressed.
Marlene Slater Daley, another aunt, chipped in: "As much assistance that we could get, especially towards the kids would be good."
She lamented that the tragic incident has left her in a state of shock.
"All now it is like a dream to know that they kill the two parents, leaving eight kids. I can't come to it right now," she bemoaned.
In the meantime, Alrick recounted the events leading up to the gruesome death of his parents and two close brushes he had with death when the gunmen came to the little wooden shack the family of 10 occupy.
He reflected that about 11:45 pm last week Wednesday he went outside in response to someone who was calling his 18-year-old brother.
According to Alrick, when he got outside he was confronted by a man who tried to "shoot me four times but each time the gun stuck."
Fearing for his life, he said, he dashed back inside the house and hurriedly pushed the door shut. But his defiant attackers started to kick in the door.
By then, he said, his mother came to his assistance and started to brace the door to keep out the armed intruders.
The attackers responded by firing at the house.
"One of the bullets grazed a finger on my left hand," he recalled.
His mother, however, was not so lucky.
She was hit by another bullet and immediately collapsed on a bed behind the door.
Alrick said his father who was asleep was awoken by the commotion, and was shot in his head by the gunmen, who fired wildly before leaving.
The parents were later pronounced dead at hospital.
Earlier this week, members of a Seventh-day Adventist Church in Westmoreland, a political representative, counsellors and representatives from the Child Development Agency (CDA) visited the bereaved family, in a bid to provide much-needed support.
Last week's double murder pushed the murder tally in Westmoreland to six since the start of the year.
In 2013, 89 homicides were recorded in the parish.