Grandmother’s cry after girl, 6, gunned down –PLEASE, NOT THE CHILDREN

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Kylie Maloney age 6 was killed when gunmen open fire on a house on Blake Avenue in Sangre Grande, several others including her mom was injured .

“PLEASE, not the children. Oh God, leave the children alone!”

This was the cry from Tisha Maloney as she struggled to come to terms with the murder of her six-year-old granddaughter Kylie Maloney.

Little Kylie was gunned down at her Sangre Grande home during the early morning hours of Sunday. Police said gunmen surrounded the house while Kylie and her family slept inside, and opened rapid and sustained gunfire.

When the shooting ended, Kylie lay bleeding and mortally wounded. Her mother and another male relative were also bleeding from gunshot wounds. All three were taken to hospital but little Kylie did not make it.

Surrounded by reporters on Sunday morning, hours after she lost her granddaughter, Maloney had a heartfelt and pointed message to criminals and gunmen.

NOT THE CHILDREN: Tisha Maloney speaks to reporters on Sunday hours after her granddaughter Kylie Maloney, six, was gunned down in Sangre Grande. Photo by Sureash Cholai

“Not the children! Oh God, don’t kill the children! Leave the children alone. Leave them out of your bacchanal please. Kylie didn’t deserve this. No child…nobody deserves this.”

Police reported that officers responded to a report of multiple gunshots at LP 64, Blake Avenue, Sangre Grande, at about 2.15 am. When they arrived, they found Kylie who originally lived at Quash Trace, Foster Road, Sangre Grande, her mother Akeeila Maloney, 25, Kevon Lucas, 34, and 45-year-old Dexter Trotman bleeding in the house.

Kylie was shot in her chest; Akeeila in the left foot; Trotman was shot in the arm, and Lucas was grazed by a bullet. Kylie died later during emergency surgery. Her family was told that the shock and massive blood loss was too much for Kylie to overcome.

Relatives told Newsday that gunmen came into the yard while everyone was sleeping. They were dressed in military uniforms and claimed in loud voiced to be police.

“We woke up because we heard dogs barking,” said a relative who begged not to be identified. “We have CCTV cameras so we looked at them. We didn’t see anything at first, but the dogs started to bark more aggressively.”

The relative said one of the victims, identified by police as Lucas, tried waking up another relative who had two children in a separate room. Three men were seen in the CCTV footage jumping the fence.

“They started pounding on the door claiming they were police. He (a family member in the house) saw them and started shouting that they were not police and not to open the door. Just then the shooting started.

“Everyone tried to run to the back of the house. When the shooting stopped, we realised that by the amount of blood all over the place that more than one of us was shot.”

According to police, investigators who processed the scene recovered 47 spent shells from 5.56mm bullets; eight .45mm shell casings, three spent 12 gauge cartridges, one live round of 5.56mm, a live round of 12 gauge cartridge and three other “projectiles” at the scene.

Maloney described Kylie as a bright and happy child.

“Oh gosh, she would light up the entire place,” the woman said. “She was bright. She used to make you laugh and smile. She was loving to everyone around her. Anyone who ever met Kylie could tell you that they fell in love with her.”

Maloney said Kylie who lived with her, would normally visit her (the child) mother’s home and even spend the weekend there. She told reporters that on Saturday afternoon, Kylie told her she was leaving to get her hair plaited by her mother and would come back on Sunday to prepare for school on Monday.

“She left here happy,” the grandmother said. “The last thing she told me was she will see me tomorrow.”

Maloney said although she was concerned about the amount of shooting taking place recently in Blake Avenue, she was not concerned for Kylie’s safety. Other relatives said they were however concerned as this was not the first time gunmen had attacked the house in Blake Avenue where Kylie was killed.

CRIME SCENE: A police vehicle outside the house in Sangre Grande where six-year-old Kylie Maloney was gunned down on Sunday morning. Photo by Sureash Cholai

“On the eighth of August last year, my younger brother got shot. He still is nursing those wounds,” a relative said. “What I mean to say is if they keep coming back then that means somebody has an enemy, right? If you have an enemy, meet them and talk.

“But communication is a real issue in this country and that is why we have all these problems. If we learn to communicate from small and teach our children to communicate how you feel to somebody, instead of using violence, things could be better. Kylie didn’t do anybody anything and she didn’t deserve to go this way.”

In recent times, children have figured prominently in shooting incidents, sometimes ending up dead.

On September 14, two children aged three and six, were among six people shot in Blake Avenue while attending the wake for a man who had been gunned down.

In October, three-year-old Nazim Owen was among three people shot dead in Diego Martin.

Also in October, nine-year-old Jamal Modeste was shot dead while playing at the Africa recreation ground in Enterprise, Chaguanas.

And in December, an 18-month-old girl identified as Nova Brereton and her 32-year-old mother were both shot dead in a Moruga mini-mart. Up to press time, the murder toll stood at 12 for the year.