Children traumatised by teacher's murderWednesday, December 08, 2021
BY KASEY WILLIAMS
TREASURE BEACH, St Elizabeth — Children were among those left traumatised after witnessing yesterday's brazen murder of 28-year-old teacher Chanel Smith at the entrance of Sandy Bank Infant School in this parish.
“One of the students was really traumatised, because her teacher ran out and went away in the bus with Ms Smith that took her to the hospital,” Principal Erna Black-Neil told the Jamaica Observer.
She said students were on the school compound when the shooting happened.
“It was [very] early… We had [children] that witnessed [it], but I'm not sure they realised what was happening, because they are young they maybe didn't know,” said Black-Neil.
Last evening, the police named Domane Robinson otherwise called 'Domane Myle' or 'Star Boy Myles' as a person of interest in relation to the murder.
Robinson is said to frequent Royal Flat and Christiana in Manchester.
Smith, who was described as quiet person in her community, was gunned down as she walked from her home to the school.
Sources say shortly before 8:00 am two men awaited Smith as she approached the school's entrance. One of the men shot her then jumped onto a motorcycle being driven by the other man and fled the scene.
“A guy that was fixing a bike just came up and shot her. He jumped on the bike and the bike rode off. He was the pillion on the bike,” an alleged eyewitness told the Observer.
Member of Parliament for St Elizabeth South Western Floyd Green and Education Minister Fayval Williams are among those who have condemned the murder.
“It is a very sad day for the entire community and the school family. Clearly, we want no stone to be left unturned to bring these perpetrators to justice. It was a truly brutal act, especially considering that it was done at the gate of the infant [school],” said Green.
Minister Williams issued a statement saying, “This attack in the precincts of the school while students and teachers were on the compound is particularly disturbing and represents an attack on the society as a whole. This is even more shameful, considering that this is [a] school attended by students at the early childhood level.”
Green is appealing to anyone with information that can assist the police in their investigation to come forward.
“We hope that the police will bring the people to justice in the shortest possible time. She was a lovely and dedicated young lady. She came back to serve her community. She is from the Sandy Bank area and decided to teach at the infant department instead of going elsewhere, so she was really strong about community service,” he said.
“The Treasure Beach community is not used to incidents of this kind, because it is a quiet and peaceful community and we want to keep it that way. I am encouraging people who have information to share it. We really want to capture these criminals. I hope that the full extent of the law will be brought to bear upon them,” he added.
Black-Neil said Smith started teaching at the school in 2018.
She said the community is in shock following the incident.
“We have never experienced that before. I have never heard of it happening here before, so because of that the entire community is traumatised,” she said.
A relative, who asked not to be named, told the Observer that she last saw Smith walking to work yesterday morning.
“She was quiet, jovial, loving and caring. This was completely unexpected. I don't know why somebody would want to kill her. Chanel is always [going] from work to home [and] to church. She doesn't really go anywhere else,” said the relative.