Liberia: Father of Student Who Shot and Killed Peer On Campus Weeps Bitterly, Expresses Regrets

Monrovia — The father of 16-year-old student Jovanus Oliver Turay, who allegedly shot his 14-year-old school mate to death at the Cyber-Ed Christian School of Excellence, Mr. Sylvanus Turay, has described the incident as a "heartbreaking and disappointing" happening that has broken down and "killed" many people, including him.

Police in Monrovia are investigating students of two high school students of the Cy-Ed Christian School of Excellence for the murder of 16-year-old school mate on campus with a 9mm pistol.

The incident occurred during the early morning hours on Tuesday.

The victim was the daughter of Dr. Philip Ireland, head of Internal Medicine at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center.

Police informed journalists that they have in their custody the two students, Jovanus Oliver Turay, 16yrs and a person of interest, Matthew Gonkerwon, who are persons of interest to the police.

In a live podcast on the social media from the United States early Thursday morning, Mr. Turay, who is a renowned Liberian movie actor and producer disclosed in tears that the Irelands and Turays are families, but the incident is unfortunate and sad.

"I know that a lot of people are horrified. It's horrifying disappointing. It's something that every parent will get terrified about. But I thought to just speak to the hearts of people, our Liberians, parents, children, families, the government, our judiciary every person, every child, adult, a girl or a boy".

"The boy that caused the demise or death of Precious - that boy has killed a lot of people. He killed her, but he killed me and a lot of people. I want people to understand that Precious is like a child to me. I want people to understand that I didn't get to know Precious from my son's school. She's a family. I want people to understand that that bullet took a lot of lives".


With tears profusely rolling down his cheek, Mr. Turay regretted the incident involving his son.

He clarified that every child of the Ireland's family, including Daniel, Aaron, Nathaniel, Hannah are "like my own", while the deceased parents are like a brother and sister to him.

"I want to express my regret about the incident. I want people to understand that we are sorry about the death of Precious".

Public sentiments

Mr. Turay expressed disappointment over the growing wave of public sentiments surrounding the incident.

He indicated that though there are public sentiments over the happening involving his son, his family remains regretful about the incident.

"There are public sentiments there; people are saying all kinds of things. But I understand people will trip because of what happened. I don't blame people for getting so angry and saying a lot of things because, some of them don't know; some of them are carried away because of the death of a child and I understand that".

"Precious means a lot to all of us. And I regret what happened. I want to say a big sorry to the Ireland's family and everybody connected to the Ireland's family-all of us. It's regrettable".

Suspect first conversation with father

Speaking further, Mr. Turay pointed out that he was opportune to speak with his son, suspect Jovanus Turay, after the incident.

He disclosed that his son firstly expressed concern over whether or not he has spoken with the Ireland family following the incident.

"I want you to know that my son regrets everything that happened; and I regret it. I want to beg the Irelands; their parents; the school; the administration; the staff; the students; the parents-I want to apologize for the embarrassment that was caused by us; by my son".

Mr. Turay urged the Irelands to have in mind that they are not alone following the loss of their daughter, noting that, "my family regrets everything that happened".

FPA Observes Body Examination

On Wednesday, some relatives of the deceased excluding both parents gathered at the Samuel Stryker Funeral Home to witness the corona from the Ministry of Justice and the forensic team of the Liberia National Police examine the remains.

It was observed that the 14-year-old student was shot twice at a very close range (on the left and right).

A bullet entry and outlet were observed on the right side of her neck. There was also another bullet entry on lower jaw beneath her left ear. This bullet, according to the corona and the forensic team, came out on the right side of her neck, while the bullet that was fired from the right side of her neck did not come out of the body as no other outlet was established on the body.

The examining team concluded that she died as a result of the shooting.

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