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Taken away so young

Youth dies after being struck with stone

Less than a week before he was due to join the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) Shakeem Turton, 18, lay dying in his mother’s arms, reportedly the victim of an altercation with a neighbour.


And as he died, the former Frederick Smith Secondary School student gave her the “thumbs up”,  his mother Natalie Harris said.

Turton died this morning at his Long Gap, Grazettes, St Michael home after he was allegedly struck on his temple with a stone thrown by a neighbour.

“My son died in my arms this morning around 9 a.m. after giving me the thumbs up. My son had an altercation with one of his young neighbours and he first struck my son on his foot with a stone. However, he later struck him in his temple with a stone and that was the fatal blow,” a distraught Harris told Barbados TODAY in an interview from her home in the presence of the young man’s father Mark Turton who was too distressed to talk.

“The incident occurred around 7 p.m. and we took him to FMH for medical attention. He was released but died at home around 9 p.m. He attended the Frederick Smith Secondary School and was employed at Blakeys at the time of his death. Shakeem was expected to enter the Defence Force on Saturday,”  she added.

Meanwhile, the young man’s grandfather is questioning the seeming inability of Barbadian authorities to carry out the death penalty.

The man, who spoke with Barbados TODAY on condition that his name is withheld, was critical of Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite and also had some harsh words for Amnesty International and other abolitionist groups which he sees as meddling in the affairs of small states like Barbados.

“Why doesn’t Amnesty International and other international agencies try to influence the policies of China, for example, as it relates to capital punishment?” asked the deceased lad’s grandfather.  “Why don’t they try to change the policy in the mighty USA? I do not understand.”

“Nobody goes to China and tries to tell the political directorate there to discontinue capital punishment. They cannot go to Singapore and Indonesia and tell them to abolish capital punishment. All of these countries have the death penalty.

“Earlier this year, Indonesia executed two Australian nationals…. They are coming to Third World countries and telling small countries what to do,” the noticeably frustrated grandfather said.

He said in the same way death penalty opponents claim that capital punishment does not stop murders, it can also be argued that imprisoning thieves does not stop theft. “ . . . so why is the judicial system sending them to prison? Open the prison then because nothing stops anything. It is a situation that baffles me.”

The grandfather said Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite seems to share the view that the execution of convicted murderers does not show a corresponding decline in the incidence of murders. Even though he acknowledged this view was informed by research, he contended: “It is a fallacious argument.”

“Ninety-nine per cent of Barbadians are in favour of capital punishment, yet our leaders refuse to impose it even though it remains on our statute books,” he added.

12 Responses to Taken away so young

  1. Lady-Stylez Pilgrim
    Lady-Stylez Pilgrim September 16, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    Condolences Connie and family.

  2. lswiltshire September 16, 2015 at 11:23 pm


  3. Venice Daisley
    Venice Daisley September 16, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Gone too soon.R.I.P

  4. Adrian Reid
    Adrian Reid September 16, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    My heart felt condolences

  5. Rickie Brown
    Rickie Brown September 16, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    Prayers for the Family!

  6. Alex Alleyne September 17, 2015 at 7:32 am

    The youngster was taken to FMH for medical attention around 7pm after being struck in the TEMPLE with a stone .He was released but died at home around 9pm. This guy should have been sent over to the QEH for test to the head etc.
    This family should go out and get a “high flier” for a LAWYER because this is a very good case for a Law Suit.

  7. Observer September 17, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Condolences to the family,grandfather I agree with you 100 % barbados need the death penalty , I’m wondering if that medical facility did a complete medical examination on that young man before sending him home

  8. Winston Ifill September 18, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Have to agree with the grandfather here, why on earth are these delinquents not put to death? Every day it seems like the law in Barbados has hit rock bottom. The politicians are just a group of dysfunctional lot and this is where the problems start.

    How can these things be resolve, I don’t have the answers, but, these are serious times in this country, a country that I love dearly.

    The question to ask, is, are the Government doing enough, are the Courts doing its part when sentencing these murderers and of course, are parents bringing there kids up the best possible way? There are plenty of blame to go around. Its a travesty seeing Barbados drift into a country of violence and broken law.

    My condolence to the family of this young man. As one of above writers alluded, this were a mistake by the medical institution, sending a kid home that were struck in the head without administering a thorough examination. Another case of dysfunctionality.

  9. Winston Ifill September 18, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Please forgive me for the missed spell!

  10. nanci October 22, 2015 at 11:08 am

    the reason why they stop the death penalty in barbados and other small countries , is because there were instances where people where hanged, but later found out they were innocent. Some years back a 17 year old boy was hanged. It was later found out the husband was the one who killed his wife, but laid the blame on the poor black yard worker. The boy’s family was too poor to get a lawyer, and the white man got the highest and best lawyer. Years after the guy killed his second wife in Canada, and after much investigations, it was found out he did kill his wife in barbados. The bajan victim was given a pardon, but that was way too late. Thats why the death penalty was stopped in barbados, but it needs to come back with the amount of lawlessness and disregard for human life. Dont care what happen between the two guys, throwing a rock at someone’s head or vital organs, should be acting with a dangerous weapon, and if the victim die, first degree murder, because lots of young people will follow suit.

  11. nanci October 22, 2015 at 11:16 am

    I can feel the pain and frustration on some of these bloggers, because this behavior is happening every day, why not charge the parents when their children act like a bunch of animals. Why not give these delinquent kids some community services, and some early time to be off the streets. They are obviously causing havoc in the many small neighborhoods around the island. The government or whoever is responsible for upholding the law, needs to nip these behaviors in the bud, if you see or observe lots of young people gathering in one place, and dont know how to behave and have some common respect, just take them up and find out what is going on, but something needs to be done. There are no bad places in barbados, its only some people in the neighborhoods makes it bad, and yes any man who have sex with a young lady under the age of 18, needs to be in jail also.

  12. nanci October 22, 2015 at 11:19 am

    the kid should have been in the hospital for observation, not sent home the same day. A blow to the head or any part of the body can be fatal. RIP young man, i hope you get some justice here.


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