Alleged teen gangster was out of school since 2020 - Grandaunt insists he was no criminal
There is now a deep sense of regret emanating from relatives of 16-year-old Deandre Channer after he was killed during a reported confrontation with the police on Wednesday.
According to Novelette Collins, the teen's grandaunt, Deandre stopped attending school in 2020 shortly after the Government closed schools due to COVID-19. She said that the former Tivoli Gardens High School student did not have any parental figure. His father was arrested shortly before the pandemic hit and his mother had died from cancer when he was a toddler. This, along with a raft of negative influences, Collins said, led the impressionable teen into making bad choices. However, she has dismissed police claims and he was a criminal.
"The most yuh can say bout 'D' is that him is a very ignorant person because him have a stutter when him talk. From him stop go school from 'bout when him a 14, him father send him come round here because of di war weh a gwan a Maxfield him no wah nutten do him,"Collins told THE WEEKEND STAR. Collins said that the family tried unsuccessfully to get Deandre reinstated in school.
"But wi did a wait on his birth paper and other documents from his father because after him come out from prison him always come here every now and then fi bring things give him son. But after a while things just slow up," she said. According to the police, Deandre, and his cousin Romario 'Mari' Brewster, 24, who is Collins' grandson, were prime suspects in the February 16 murder of Ricardo Taylor in east Kingston. The lawmen report that on Wednesday, between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., Deandre, Brewster, Patrick Brown and Nigel Adams shot at them during a targeted operation in Zambia, in Central Village, St Catherine. The police reportedly returned gunfire fatally shooting all four. Three firearms were also seized. The incident is being probed by the Inspectorate and Professional Oversight Bureau and the Independent Commission of Investigations.