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We were planning for graduation, not a funeral - Relatives mourn slain boy as three other family members nurse injuries

Published:Wednesday | June 12, 2019 | 12:19 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter
Dujon DaCosta
Dujon DaCosta

The family of 12-year-old Dujon DaCosta, who was shot dead at close range in Payne Land while he sat with relatives last Saturday, say they were planning for his graduation and not a funeral.

Yesterday when our news team visited the southwest St Andrew community, residents were still trying to process the tragic event in which gunmen opened fire at the group, killing Dujon and injuring three other family members at about 7:45 p.m.

Dujon’s grandmother, Angela Ringrose, who was inside the house at the time of the shooting, could not hold back tears as she spoke to The Gleaner.

“If somebody told me that Saturday night was the last meal I would prepare for my grandson, I would tell dem they are a liar,” she said.

“I leave them to come inside and cut up the chicken to cook Sunday. When I inside now, I hear gunshot a fire at my gate, then I heard the shot started to fire inside my yard. After it cease, I saw my daughter run in and say, ‘Mommy, mi get shot’. I saw that she was bleeding. I came outside and saw Dujon laying on the ground. He was sitting on the bench there, and the gunshot fling him to the ground.”

gunmen’s target

The Gleaner gathered that the person who is believed to be the gunmen’s target fled the scene but the thugs still unleashed their terror on the group, leaving death in their wake.

Ringrose told our news team that all four persons shot are her relatives and that there could have been a fifth as the gunmen also fired at a four-year-old.

“I lost a grandson. My daughter is still in hospital laying on her back right now,” a grieving Ringrose told The Gleaner.

“My grandson is a baller. I went to the school (Tavares Primary) yesterday, and the principal told me that Excelsior [High School] award him a full scholarship. My grandson never hurt anybody. I have nobody in war because I am a Christian. Him sleep with me, I wake him up in the morning time fi go school. Who am I going to wake up, where is Dujon now for me to wake up and prepare for school? Dujon had so much going for him, he worked so hard,” she said.

One of Dujon’s injured relatives, Marva Barrett, told our news team that she narrowly escaped death after a bullet grazed her leg.

“I asked Dujon to go full some water for me and I would pay him, but the pipe was dry, so him sit down back. My daughter say, ‘Look out!’, and by time she say that, mi hear ‘blow!’ and Dujon drop a ground. Me in a the corner couldn’t move and a bawl, ‘Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ!’, and the boy (the gunman) jump over Dujon and turn the gun in a the yard,” she recalled.

The Gleaner was told that two gunmen carried out the deadly attack and may have been assisted by a waiting motor car as several persons saw them running in the opposite direction as they made good their escape.

flush out gangsters

Karl Blake, Dujon’s godfather and councillor for the neighbouring Greenwich division, visited the family while our news team was on location. He urged the community to flush out the gangsters.

“If the community they come from know that they are the perpetrator, the community must push dem out. Don’t hug dem up because you don’t know when they will turn on you. ... Those ‘waste’ people who feel they must go around and kill people have no contribution but death and murder to contribute to society,” Blake said.

When our news team put it to Blake that the murder may speak to a wider issue, he said, “A wider issue that some of these parents and woman dem deh wid fi stop wash blood clothes and start run dem weh. They must not be safe anywhere or feel loved anywhere because they have no love for nothing.”

The Hunts Bay police are appealing for information as they probe Dujon’s killing.