IRWIN, St James – Detectives were up to last evening working feverishly to apprehend the gunmen who robbed and killed 54-year-old Eulis Jones Hamilton, mother of Jamaica Observer reporter Simone Morgan.
Hamilton was shot in the head Wednesday evening by one of about four gunmen who invaded her home and robbed her of cash amounting to approximately $200,000.
According to Lyrol Winn, spouse of the deceased, the incident happened shortly after he and his 12-year-old grandson returned from a grocery shop where they had gone to purchase bottled water.
“I walked at the back and she (Hamilton) let me in and I put down the water. Just as I stepped back and held on to the grille to lock it, a man from outside ‘jook’ mi with a gun and tell mi to step back inside the house and don’t look at him,” a grieving Winn told reporters.
He related that his grandson walked into the armed intruders, who placed them both to lie down on the floor. The attackers then warned Winn and his grandson not to look at their faces.
“Lying on the ground, one of them took off my hat and put it over my face and seh ‘don’t even take a glimpse at me’. Mi lying down there, dem go through mi pocket, take out everything, including telephone, money and so forth,” he recounted, adding that the men told his grandson that he was too young to die.
“Only one man first pounced and after him come in, the rest come in. I heard four different voices,” Winn said.
The armed invaders then went to where Hamilton was and cleaned a safe that contained money she had earlier collected from tenants who occupy three apartments on the premises.
Still not satisfied, the burglars gun-butted the woman after they ordered her to empty a drawer in which they thought more cash was hidden.
“One took mi from the kitchen and carried mi in to the passage near where the money was kept and mi hear mi wife bawl out and say ‘why you lick mi inna mi face with the gun fah and mi give you all of the money?” Winn recalled. “And when they opened the draw and saw that there was no more money, one said ‘come we cut’. Then they stepped out.”
Winn said as the group of men was about to leave, one of them ordered his spouse’s killing.
“When them reach the back door mi hear one of them seh, ‘put a shot in her [expletive] head’. Mi hear a foot coming in back in the house and [hear a voice] seh don’t move, boy, stay same place; and him step past me and me hear an explosion and him jump back over me and run out,” he recounted.
“A deh so now mi get up. And mi see her (Hamilton) lie down and me say ‘Mummy! Mummy! and then mi just see the blood a flow out of her head back and mi realise seh she gone lef’ wi,” he added.
Hamilton’s only surviving child, Observer reporter Simone Morgan, was a picture of grief yesterday as she remembered her mother as being very protective.
“She was a lady, she was one of the quietest persons I know; maybe too quiet. She was very, very mild-tempered,” a teary-eyed Morgan said.
“And then she calls me like 20 times for the day and ask, ‘Simone, yuh all right, yuh eat? What time you going home? Call me when you reach home’. Because I am her only child; she lost my sister several years ago. She died naturally. She was very protective of me,” Morgan said.
Both Morgan and Winn recalled that Hamilton rarely left the house.
“She doesn’t go anywhere, unless she going to the doctor. Unless it’s an appointment or something. She just doesn’t go out. She stays home and finds everything in the house to do,” Morgan remembered.
Winn, meanwhile, echoed his stepdaughter’s sentiments while describing his spouse as warm and loving,
“She does not leave the house and go anywhere at all. Before so, she keep washing every day. It [her death] surprised everybody because the only time they see her is when she reads the water meters on the premises daily,” he told the Observer.