Parent of teen slain by cops after jewellery heist: 'My son was no bandit'

Thursday, March 7, 2019 - 05:45

Con­vinced that his teenaged son Kevon Sim­mons was not a ban­dit, De­von Sim­mons yes­ter­day called for a de­tailed in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to his child’s death, say­ing there were too many unan­swered ques­tions.

De­von, who turned 16 in Jan­u­ary, was with 23-year-old Cur­tis “Dumb Dumb” James when they were cor­nered by po­lice in­side Tiana’s Jew­ellery along the South­ern Main Road, Cou­va, yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Po­lice said af­ter be­ing cor­nered with the stolen jew­ellery they fired shots at of­fi­cers who re­tal­i­at­ed with dead­ly force. A pho­to of Sim­mons wear­ing a red T-shirt crouched un­der a sink was sub­se­quent­ly cir­cu­lat­ed on so­cial me­dia.

His body bore a gun­shot wound to the chest.

Speak­ing at his home in Con­cerned Cit­i­zens Street, Cal­i­for­nia yes­ter­day, De­von Sim­mons said his son was a Form Three Cou­va West Sec­ondary stu­dent who had as­pi­ra­tions of be­com­ing a welder.

He said Kevon went to a par­ty with a friend on Car­ni­val Tues­day but he did not know how he end­ed up dead in a jew­ellery store. Say­ing his son was not ac­cus­tomed to stay­ing out overnight, Sim­mons said he ex­pect­ed him to re­turn home on Tues­day but in­stead saw pho­tos of his dead son in­side the jew­ellery store on so­cial me­dia yes­ter­day.

“I don’t know how he got there or what hap­pened. Po­lice nev­er told me any­thing. When I went to the po­lice they nev­er let me see it.

They told me to go up Guides (Fu­ner­al Home).

When I went they said the body al­ready left to go to Foren­sics.

The po­lice nev­er let me see my son,” Sim­mons said.

Neigh­bour K-Marie Noel said she was with Kevon hours be­fore he died. She said they were lim­ing at the De­ja Vu Club in Cou­va and po­lice de­tained Sim­mons be­cause he was un­der­age.

“They even­tu­al­ly re­leased him and when the mu­sic stopped we were ready to go home but his friend who died with him asked him to go some­where else to lime. I told Kevon let’s go home but he left with Dumb Dumb,” Noel said.

An­oth­er neigh­bour, Bren­da Ash­ton, said Kevon and his broth­er Stephon were good boys who en­joyed hunt­ing and gar­den­ing. Show­ing a well-man­i­cured gar­den, Ash­ton said, “They used to hunt caimans and mind them in a big tank. They would hunt frogs and feed the caimans. They nev­er were in­to rob­bery.”

An­oth­er aunt who re­quest­ed anonymi­ty in­sist­ed the po­lice had killed the teenag­er and his friend.

“Why didn’t they lock them up and send them to the Chil­dren’s Court.

This boy now start to live. He was fol­low­ing the wrong com­pa­ny.

These chil­dren reach an age where they try­ing to fit in. Why kill them?

The po­lice should have tried to find out who send them to put down a rob­bery.”

The aunt said her son was al­so ar­rest­ed and in jail but thanks to so­cial pro­grammes he was be­com­ing re­formed.

Rel­a­tives of James were not at home when the T&T Guardian vis­it­ed the home at Rail­way Road, Cou­va.

A neigh­bour said James had a speech im­pair­ment and was a slow learn­er.

Reporter: Radhica De Silva