Grieving dad still hoping daughter's murder is just a dream
Five-year-old shot dead in her sleep wanted to be a scientistSaturday, October 16, 2021
BY JASON CROSS
Well over a week after five-year-old Denique Salmon was killed in her sleep by a stray bullet as rival gunmen engaged in an early morning battle on the streets of New Haven, St Andrew, her father, Michael Salmon, is still hoping that somehow his experience is really a dream.
“Nuff people know mi and dem never ever see mi cry, and everyday since she dead mi cry. Every morning mi get up, mi just a hope seh a dream mi did a dream and mi a go realise seh she alive,” Salmon told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
“Mi love mi two daughter dem, but mi a tell you seh she different. Anybody meet her haffi remember her. She a di type a baby weh always a talk or a do supp'n fi yuh see har. If you see her sad, a must sick she sick. Everybody know seh dat baby always happy. She wasn't normal. It is very difficult. Her death has broken down the family,” the grieving father said, struggling to keep his emotions in check as he shared the pain he has been enduring.
The child's grandmother, Shurnette Harrison, apparently fearing that she would succumb to her emotions, tried hard not to speak too much about Denique as family and friends gathered at the house for the traditional nine-day funerary activities.
“There is nuff nuff anger and pain. Every time I talk about her I cry. I feel a lot of pain and pills cannot help. All mi haffi do is pray and ask God fi carry us through,” the grandmother told the Observer.
“From it happen I don't go back to work, and I don't know if the lady going to take me back on the job, even though she is understanding. She is a woman with kids.
“My granddaughter wanted to be a doctor and then changed and said she wanted to be a scientist. When she wake up in the morning, she would always come and say, 'Grandma, remember to take your insulin.' She was always happy. Sometimes you would be sad and she mek you smile,” Harrison said.
Yesterday, Superintendent of Police Kirk Ricketts, who is in charge of the St Andrew South Police Division, told the Observer that investigations into the murder are well advanced and that his team has identified two men — 30-year-old bus conductor Theodore Bearer, otherwise called Theo of 52 Duhaney Terrace, Kingston 20; and 29-year-old Anteneil Reynolds, otherwise called Son Son of a Marlborough, New Haven, address — who the police believe can help with the probe.
He said that Bearer is of slim build, brown complexion, and about 5 feet 9 inches tall, while Reynolds is of slim build, bleached brown complexion, sports a low-cut hairstyle, and walks with a limp.
The police, Superintendent Ricketts added, have not “skipped a day in pursuit of these persons”.
Meanwhile, Salmon said he will remain steadfast in his mission to ensure that his daughter is never forgotten.
“It really messed up fi lose a nice baby like dat. I don't want people to forget her. By next month some people will not even remember about this, but people need fi remember this and keep it inna dem mind and try mek a change. Dat is my goal right now,” he said.
He accused the Government of putting too much emphasis on hard-core policing strategies rather than preventative policing.
“The Government is just focusing on the policing and the prison aspect. Nuff a di youth dem was some good youth and dem just tek di wrong path because nobody never deh deh fi show dem a different way,” Salmon said.
“To fix the crime thing we have to do more than just policing. If we can stop the crime, even before di youth dem get a chance fi go da route deh, it woulda really better. A nuh seh a crime some a dem youth yah waan do or love di badness; some of dem love it, yes, but you have some who don't see any better road or opportunity. All dem see is problem, sufferation, and a quick way to make money,” Salmon argued.