BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - MINISTER of EDUCATION and Parliamentary Representative for Constituency Two, Jonel Powell has expressed sadness at the senseless killing of the two young men in the McKnight communiity on Monday (Jan. 11) evening.
Reports indicated that Jahquan Merritt, 19, and Lamont Heyliger, 20, were at a location with several other people in Lower Thibou Avenue on that evening when a lone gunman rode up and shot the two young men.
Police said that Heyliger sustained multiple gunshot injuries to the body and died on the spot, while Merritt received a single gunshot wound to the head and subsequently died at the JNF General Hospital.
Minister Powell in his statement lamented the fact that every act of violence is one too many and that the young men were struck down in the prime of their lives.
“It was with deep, deep sadness that I learnt last night of the double murder of two promising young men from Central Basseterre. Lamont and Jahquan struck down in the prime of their lives.”
He added: “Every single act of violence is one too many. We cannot afford for our McKnight, for our Federation, to be robbed of young people with so much potential.”
Powell represents the areas in which the two men lived and also the location in which the shooting occurred. And in his expression of sympathies to the grieving mothers, Shawna and Jovanna, he noted that “No parent should be left grieving their child”.
“This loss of young lives is a loss not only for the McKnight community but a loss for the entire Federation. We cannot and will not go back to a community where people feel fearful for themselves and their loved ones,” he added.
These are the first two homicides for the year, following 10 recorded last year and several instances where there were Wounding with Intent, especially in December.
The Minister pointed out that “it is a difficult time for Central Basseterre but we will remain McKnight-strong and fix this problem together”.