Family of Lauvette A. Williams, deceased Stepfather of Cyber-Ed Shooter Jovanus Oliver Turay, Rejects Allegation that Williams ever owned a gun.
The family of Lauvette A. Williams, Sr. has denied allegations by Jovanus Turay’s mother that the deceased owned the gun that her 16-year-old son snuck onto the school premises and shot his colleague to death.
Jovanus’s mother, Joan Saah, in an investigation with the Liberia National Police disclosed that the gun her son used in the Cyber–Ed Christian School shooting was acquired by her deceased boyfriend, Lauvette A. Williams who was a customs broker.
In a statement signed by Hester Williams and Shirley Williams Awadje, the Williams family unequivocally denied the allegation, stressing that the deceased was a law-abiding and peace-loving man who spent his entire life serving humanity in his church (The Little White Chapel).
“At no time did Lauvette own or purchase a gun, because he was deeply loved by all who knew him. More importantly, Lauvette died on Feb. 24, 2018. This is more than three years ago. Ms. Saah has since moved out of the house where both of them lived. All of Lauvette’s Personal belongings remained in her possession. Ms. Saah has full responsibility for all of them,” the family’s statement said.
The statement continued, “Assuming without admitting that the gun belonged to Lauvette, Ms. Saah upon Lauvette’s demise assumed responsibility for all of his personal belongings and should therefore be stopped from dragging a deceased man’s name into a matter that he has no knowledge of.”
It added that the action by Turay’s mother is an attempt to shift blame and to tarnish the reputation of a man that is no longer alive. The Williams family further warned Jovanus’s mother to cease and desist from tarnishing the reputation of the deceased, as they are prepared to protect his name and reputation beyond the grave.
“We consider this as an attempt to shift blame to a man that is unable to defend himself because he no longer exists. The family of the late Lauvette A. Williams is very disappointed in Joan Saah’s attempt to tarnish the reputation of their father, brother and uncle and cousin,” the family said in their statement.
“We want to use this opportunity to advise Ms. Saah to cease and desist with immediate effect. We are prepared to protect our brother’s name and reputation beyond the grave. We regret the untimely death of a young lady and are in sympathy with all of the affected by this tragic event.”
The incident led to the death of 14 years old Precious Ireland, the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Philip Ireland. Dr. Ireland, a physician at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, is a survivor of the deadly Ebola virus that rocked Liberia in 2014.
Precious Ireland met her untimely death on Tuesday, April 13, from a handgun fired by student Jovanus Turay, while both students were sitting alone in a classroom at their school, the Cyber-ED Christian School of Excellence located on Sophie Road, Congo-town, Monrovia. According to report, she was shot twice.
Moses Carter, the spokesperson of the LNP during a press conference last week noted that Turay was undergoing an investigation for illegal possession of a firearm and that his mother Joan Saah, an employee of Orange Liberia, has informed investigators that the firearm her son took to school was acquired by the late Williams.
“The police will go into the investigation to establish the authenticity of Madam Saah’s statement. All will be done to ensure that justice is served in the death of Precious who, like suspect Turay, was in the 11th Grade,” the police said.
Meanwhile, the Ireland family has disputed the school narrative that the shooting leading to the death of their daughter was accidental in the absence of a full police investigative report and demand an apology. The Ireland family also disclosed that they are going to demand that the police charge Turay as an adult instead of a juvenile.
“We are not making a conclusion at the moment because we obviously know that the act was untimely,” said Atty. Maxwell Grisby, an uncle of the deceased. “Such gruesome killing will not go unpunished, but I don’t how that will happen. So we will give all of our full support to this case.”
“All we want to inform the public is that we cannot make hasty conclusions. The person at age 16 to a greater extent can be determined to have the capacity by a competent court of jurisdiction and, where that happens, the law will provide such and can be prosecuted just as an adult,” Grisby added.
The shooter’s father, Sylvanus Turay, in a Facebook video last week condemned his son’s action and pleaded with the victim’s family for forgiveness.
Turay furthered that his family is horrified; heartbroken, and disappointed just like the Ireland’s families who lost their daughter. The suspect’s father who is a career actor, said his family and the Ireland family are very close and his son did not mean to kill Precious.
“Well, I had the privilege to talk to my son. There are two things he said to me: Daddy, please talk to the Irelands for me, and I want you to know that my son regrets the incident and everything that happened,” Turay noted.
“I regret it,” he added, “I want to beg the Ireland family and every parent, child, the school administration, the staff, and students, and I want to apologize for the embarrassment that was caused by us, by my son.”