By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
five dead as New Year rolls in
AN 18-year-old woman was shot and killed at her home in Abaco on Sunday afternoon in an incident that also left her younger brother in hospital.
While the victim’s identity was not released by police, close friends and relatives have identified her as 18-year-old Jilny Flereume, a Bahamian of Haitian descent.
She is one of five people to be killed so far this year and was fatally wounded in the Farm Road shanty town in Treasure Cay, Abaco.
Police said shortly after 1pm, officers were called to a home in the community where they discovered a woman with apparent gunshot injuries to her head.
Police added a male also received gunshot wounds to the body during yesterday’s incident and listed him in serious condition.
The Tribune understands that the victim is Jilney’s younger brother, aged 13. A man has since been arrested in connection to the incident.
Police said: “Officers upon making further enquiries and following a significant lead, arrested a male suspect in the Murphy Town area, who is known to the victim. Officers upon searching the male also recovered a .9mm Smith and Wesson pistol with 38 rounds of ammunition.”
According to well-placed sources, the killer is suspected to be the boyfriend of one of Flereume’s female relatives. Sources also said the incident came after an argument reportedly ensued between Flereume’s relative and her boyfriend.
However, no details were provided by police.
In an interview with The Tribune yesterday, Alexis Denoye, a long time friend of the deceased teen, described her as a quiet spirit.
“She was quiet, she didn’t say much but when you got to know her she was very funny,” Ms Denoye said. “She just recently graduated from high school last year, Sherlin C Bootle. I’ve been friends with her since they moved into the neighbourhood five years ago and from then, I used to be by their house every day until after the storm when I moved back into Marsh Harbour….l m still in shock over the news.”
News of Flereume’s untimely death also elicited a reaction from Bahamians on social media, with many calling for an end to gun violence against women.
Non-profit organisation Families of All Murder Victims (FOAM) said: “This madness has to stop. Women are treasures God put on this earth. Condolences and prayers are offered to the family and friends.”
Sunday’s killing follows the murder of a Stapledon School physical education teacher, who was found dead in one of the classrooms on Friday, becoming the nation’s first murder victim for 2021. Three men were found dead after separate incidents on Sunday and Monday.
It marks the first homicide for the Abaco community for the year. It also comes days after a single mother of seven was found dead following a suspected domestic dispute on the island.
According to a relative, Angeleta Pritchard, who had just turned 36 on Christmas Day, was beaten to death in front of her four-month-old child at her home on Boxing Day.
At last report from police, a man was in police custody, assisting with the investigation.