Tears for murdered 14-year-old Morvant boy: No school for Marlon

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

NO USE: The unworn school uniform of murdered 14-year-old Morvant boy Marlon Stewart. – Shane Superville

The grieving relatives of murdered Morvant teen Marlon Stewart is lamenting he never got the chance to wear his secondary school uniform.

Stewart, 14, was gunned down while liming outside his Upper Romain Lands, Mon Repos, home on Thursday night.

Relatives heard the gunshots and, on checking, saw Stewart bleeding from gunshot wounds. He died at the scene.

Speaking with Newsday at the family’s home on Friday morning, one relative, who asked not to be named, recalled hearing the gunshots and thought it was fireworks.

She said the cries from another relative in the house alerted her that something was wrong.

“She said ‘Marlon dead,’ I say, ‘Who Marlon?’ because I started to panic.

“I saw these bright lights, my husband ran out. He told the father not to go outside because the gunmen were still out there and they were still shooting.

“By the time I walked out to peep, the person with the gun was still shooting.”

When the gunshots ended, the relative said she saw Stewart’s bleeding body on the road.

“I went out and held him and shook him and called him, and his eyes were slightly open. I saw bullet holes by his belly and by his neck.

“They offload it on him. I cannot bear it!

She said Stewart usually kept to himself and enjoyed watching television, playing football and Ludo on his cellphone.

She said owing to financial constraints, Stewart, who wrote the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination in March, passed for the Morvant Laventille Secondary School but could not attend classes.

She said the family was able to save money and buy his school uniform and books in parts for him to attend the new school term in January.

The relative said despite the financial hardships the family faces, Stewart took odd jobs with a plumber in the area to help support himself and the family.

“Look his school uniform right here. He never even got the chance to wear it. He was looking forward to starting school and all that. He even told me he wanted to start working when he turned 17 because he wanted to support himself.”

The family said one of Stewart’s older relatives became involved in illegal activities, and suspected he was killed by the relative’s enemies either as a message or mistaken identity.

“Whatever stupidness that one doing, he endangering the family here,” a relative said.

Police from the Homicide Bureau of Investigations Region II are continuing enquires.

Responding to Newsday’s questions via WhatsApp on Friday afternoon, Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly described Stewart’s death as regrettable and expressed condolences to his family.

“The untimely death of any person, and worse yet a child, is terribly tragic and regrettable.

“As the mother of a 15-year-old son, my heart breaks for his parents.

“The Ministry of Education extends our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

Contacted for comment, Laventille East/Morvant MP Adrian Leonce said Stewart’s murder resonated with him as his youngest son is the same age. He pleaded with criminals to stop the violence, noting that crime only perpetuated a cycle of destruction.

“This one has touched me and the hurt is deep as we cannot know the contribution that this youngster would have given to his community and this nation.

“I plead with the criminal elements of this nation to stop, think and see that we are weakening ourselves as a people and as a community.

“I remain committed and optimistic that we can turn around the negativity and eventually remove the negative stigma that sometimes follow us in our community.”

Leonce also offered his condolences to Stewart’s family and friends.