Shooter’s mother faces interrogation
-After son allegedly kills female student
Suspect Jovanus Oliver Turay’s mother is facing police interrogation in Monrovia surrounding his acquisition of a pistol that he allegedly used early Tuesday morning, 13 April to kill his colleague, the late female student Precious Ireland on campus.
“She’s undergoing interrogation and it continues,” the spokesman of the Liberia National Police (LNP) Moses Carter told the NewDawn via mobile phone Wednesday, 14 April.
Carter says “From what we gathered is that the gun actually belongs to her former husband,” adding that police have been informed that the unnamed owner of the gun died about a year ago.
Immediately following the fatal shooting of Precious Ireland on the Cyber-ED Christian School of Excellence campus Tuesday in Sophie Community, Congo Town, police picked up suspect Jovanus Oliver Turay and a person of interest, Matthew Gonkerwon, for allegedly gunning down the deceased.
She was rushed to a hospital for medical attention, but was pronounced dead upon arrival by nurses on duty. The incident moved parents to rush on the campus to take their children to safety.
“The Liberia National Police has arrested and is investigating two 11th grade students of the Cyber-ED Christian School of Excellence situated in Sophie Community, Congo Town for allegedly shooting victim Precious Ireland on her neck with a 9mm pistol,” the police authorities said Tuesday, 13 April hours after the incident.
According to the police, 16 – year – old suspect Jovanus Oliver Turay and 17 – year – old Matthew Gonkerwon who is listed as a person of interest, were picked up early Tuesday morning at 8:00 AM by the Anti-Robbery Unit of the Liberia National Police (LNP).
Police spokesman Moses Carter told journalists Tuesday that the School’s Principal Mr. J. Emmett Chapin told the Police during preliminary investigation that he was urgently called at 7:45AM by one of his colleagues and informed of a gunshot sound on campus.
Carter explained that Mr. Chapin quoted eyewitnesses and students saying they saw the victim and the two suspects seated in one of the classrooms on the Cyber-ED Christian School of Excellence campus listening to music via an earpiece.
According to him, the principal further narrated that the eyewitnesses said they saw victim Precious lying unconscious following a gun sound.
The police revealed that the parents of the main suspect, JosiaSaah and SylvanusTuray who live in the USA, have been cooperating with the police here to bring their legal representations to extract statements from the suspected juveniles.
Following the incident, the Cyber-ED Christian School of Excellence initially sent out text messages to parents alerting them of the incident and later issued a press statement surrounding the situation.
In the press statement, the Cyber-ED Christian School of Excellence notes that it is with heavy hearts and much despair to inform parents of a tragic incident that had occurred at the school.
“A student brought a handgun to school this morning. While a majority of the students were eating breakfast in designated locations, this student slipped away to show off the gun to a friend and it accidentally went off,” the school stated.
“Staff, emergency medical personnel, Police, and all responded quickly. Parents were informed of the emergency. Regrettably, the student did not survive the shooting. The gun was retrieved and the student is in the custody of Police. A full investigation is being undertaken by the Liberia National Police (LNP),” the school adds.
The Cyber-ED Christian School of Excellence assures that it will meet with parents to answer any questions and concerns they have, noting that for the privacy of the students and their families, it is not releasing names at this time.
“We are currently in touch with grief counselors and therapists to assist us with comforting and help with guiding our student body through the grieving process. Please join us in prayer for the bereaved family whose daughter lost her life today,” it continued.
Earlier in a message sent to parents, the school wrote expressing regret to inform them that there had been an emergency at the school.
“The children are safe. We will update you when we have more details. Please be in prayer,” the text message said. The school says it is saddened beyond words to inform parents that a student brought a gun to school on Tuesday and shot a colleague.
“While a majority of the students were eating breakfast in designated locations, this student slipped away to show it off to a friend and it accidentally went off. The gun was retrieved and the student is in custody now. Parents who can, may pick their students up by noon today,” the message reads.
“Please be in prayer for the Ireland family whose daughter was shot. An emergency parent meeting will be held tomorrow at 6pm,” it concludes.
By Winston W. Parley