Family shocked by murder of nine-year-old boy in Jamaica

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A Brantford family is in shock following the horrific death of a nine-year-old boy in Jamaica.

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Gabriel King is the stepson of Michael Issa Jr. and the step-grandson of retired business executive, Michael Issa Sr., both of Brantford. The boy was murdered after the vehicle being driven by his mother, Amoi Leon-Issa, was carjacked just before noon on Thursday.

“They pulled her from the car and drove off with Gabriel in the back,” Michael Issa Sr., said in a telephone interview Friday as he fought back tears. “His mother alerted police and, when they found the car, Gabriel was dead and covered in blood.

“They slit his throat. I don’t understand it. What kind of an animal would do such a thing?”

A report published by the Jamaica Observer said Amoi had to slow down to avoid potholes. She was approached by a man who struck her in the face and pulled her from the vehicle before driving off with Gabriel in the back seat.

The vehicle was found in the Fairfield Estate-area of ​​Montego Bay, the Observer reported.

Issa said his son has a permanent home in Brantford and operates a security business in the Caribbean.

He said Gabriel has visited Brantford in the past and the plan was for him to move here permanently to attend school. The plans had been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Now he’ll never make it,” said Issa, who is in Montego Bay with his son and daughter-in-law.

Issa said he has reached out to the federal government in hopes that Canadian officials can follow the investigation.

The boy’s murder has shocked Jamaica with the Observer calling it “barbaric” in a headline.

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“This is no normal violence,” Senior Supt. Vernon Ellis, commanding officer for the St James Police Division, told the Observer after meeting with the boy’s parents at the Freeport Police Station in Montego Bay.

“When persons are willing to harm kids, this is very serious. This is something we need to look seriously at,”

The Parish of St. James, located in the northwest end of Jamaica, is in the County of Cornwall, whose capital city is Montego Bay. There have been 10 murders in the parish since the start of 2022.

Ellis told The Observer police in the St. James need additional powers to deal with this level of violence.

“When these things happen they send everybody in shock and panic,” he said.

“So, I would say give us what we need and then hold us accountable. You cannot not give us what we need and then you are complaining heavily about the situations that we have.”

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