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