Karen Sudu, Gleaner Writer
LINSTEAD, St Catherine:
Toni-ann Rambaran was overcome with grief as the pain of losing both parents at the same time was too much to bear. Even as her relatives and friends tried to comfort her, the tears rolled freely down her cheeks and she stared in disbelief.
Her father, 53-year-old Anthony 'Uncle Tony' Rambaran, and her 52-year-old mother, Ivel, affectionately called Miss Milly, were gunned down at their home in Rosemount on the outskirts of Linstead on Tuesday night.
It is understood that sometime after 9 p.m., Toni-Ann, her parents and her sister's 20-month-old niece alighted from a taxi when they were attacked. Toni-Ann, her niece and the taxi driver managed to escape unhurt.
"Mi hear gunshot," a female resident living close by said.
The police were summoned and the Rambarans' bodies were found on their veranda riddled with gunshot wounds. Reports are that they were not robbed.
"Why dem have to beat him? Dem couldn't just kill him since dem come fe kill him? Why dem haffi beat him too?" a woman in the crowd which gathered at their home yesterday morning muttered.
The community is saddened by the brutal killing and is trying to figure out the reason for the double murder.
Up to the time of his death, Anthony Rambaran was the supervisor of the Vector Control Unit in the Ministry of Health's Linstead office, while his wife operated a shop close to their home.
"Uncle Tony was a nice person. Miss Milly, she didn't talk much. She was from shop to home. All now mi can't believe say dem dead," said Sandra McFarlane, a family friend.
Xavia Coley, who lives near the shop which Miss Milly operated, described the killings as triple grief, as she lost her 14-year-old son, a student at Jamaica College, on November 13.
"My son came home and said his head was hurting him and he died just like that, and now they kill Uncle Tony and Miss Milly. They were a loving couple. Nice people, kind people. They always keep domino tournament and lively up the area," reflected Coley.
The closed shop and a few of the tables strewn with dominoes told the story of lifelessness created by the loss of the two community stalwarts.
LOSS FOR WORDS
Verdon Belle, Miss Milly's brother, sat on one of the tables and twiddled his hair. He tried to talk, but the words were few and far between.
Anthony Rambaran was Yvonne Bassant's only sibling, as they lost their sister in 1998.
"I got the call that they were killed Tuesday night but I am asthmatic, so I couldn't come out in the night. Tony was so quiet. Miss Milly, Lord, she was so nice. Them don't trouble people. Them don't deserve such death," she told The Gleaner.
She recalled how her brother, who like her and their late sister were born and grew up in Rosemount, would willingly share his produce with friends as well as strangers.
"Tony was so kind. If anyone comes and asks him for anything, all he would do is just tell them to take it. If you say you want this banana, he would just cut it and give you," a dejected Bassant said.
Rambaran's co-workers, who came to give support to the family, were in awe. They hailed him as a true professional who went the extra mile to assist his staff.
"He was kind. He was a good supervisor. He was a good worker. As a matter of fact, I don't think they can find a guy to replace him right now," Wesley Smith, Rambaran's co-worker since 1983, told The Gleaner.