Schoolboy among 3 killed by police – Mom: Clear my boy’s name

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

SHOT DEAD: Schoolboy Maalik Paul, 17. –

THE mother of a teenager who was among thee people shot dead by police on Saturday, said her son paid with his life after he decided to accept a drop from a neighbour.

Speaking on Monday, Magilta Dujon said her son, Maalik Paul, 17, left home on Saturday to assist neighbours with yard work and was killed on his way home.

Police reported that at about 12.30 pm on September 10, officers on an exercise in Couva, attempted to get the driver of a silver-grey Isuzu Dmax van, which was proceeding along Esperanza Road, to stop.

Police said they were shot at by the men in the van and returned fire. When the shooting ended, ex-convict Phillip “The Boss” Boodram, Gerard Thorington and Paul were all shot and subsequently died.

Boodram who was convicted of murdering a San Juan businesswoman, had the conviction overturned on appeal. He lived at Fifth Street in Dow Village, California. Thorington lived in Goodwill Road, Enterprise and Paul lived in Railway Road, Couva. A fourth man escaped, police said.

Dujon, 45, said her last child and only son was a Form Five student of the Southern Tuition Centre and was preparing to sit his Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams in January.

She said he was supposed to write the exams last June, but he and his teachers felt he was not fully prepared and he opted to delay the exams.

“He called me about 11.30 am and told me he was coming home just now, he was getting a drop with a neighbour,” Dujon said, adding that she accidentally locked herself out of the house and only after 2 pm, she was able to regain access and then learnt that her son had been killed.

“The mother of one of his school friends called and asked me where Maalik was. Then she sent me a picture of him in the hospital on a bed.”

Dujon said she called one of her five daughters who works near to the Couva Health Facility and she confirmed that her brother was dead.

“Saturday morning, he told me he was going to help out somebody. He accustomed going by them (Boodram) to clean up and work by them.”

Dujon said she does not believe the police’s version of events and questioned why the vehicle her son was in had all the windows up if there was a shootout. She said her son was a “ladies man” who was not involved in any criminal activity.

“He used to power wash people’s yards, mix cement and help people clean. He wanted to get his certificate of character so he could work after school and on weekends.”

“I have to clear my son’s name because he was not in anything. He was bright, I worked hard to put him in a private school. He passed for Malick Secondary and I put him in private school, $9,000 a term. I am not the type of mother to lie for my child. He got a transfer to St Anthony’s College, he was bright.”

She added that her son wanted to study electrical, plumbing and engineering and was discussing with her to work and study after completing CSEC.

“I just want the truth. I want closure for me and my daughters,” Dujon said.