LNP Probes Two Students in Cyber-Ed School Shooting

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Cyber-Ed Christian School of Excellence

Authorities at the Liberia National Police have arrested two eleventh (11) grade students of the Cyber-Ed Christian School of Excellence in Sophie Community, Congo Town, for allegedly shooting to death a 14-year-old girl with a 9-millimeter pistol.

The Cyber-Ed Christian School is owned and operated by Soni Williams, wife of T. Nelson Williams, Jr., former Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC).

The victim, Precious Ireland, is the daughter of Dr. Philip Ireland, a physician at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital and survivor of the deadly Ebola virus in 2014.

The Suspect, Jovanus Oliver Turay, 16, is the prime suspect of the investigation and Matthew Gonkerwon, 17, a person of interest who is assisting the LNP with the investigation. They were both picked up from the school early Tuesday morning, April 13, by officers of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU).

Precious Ireland, 14, did not survive the gunshot wound, Cyber-Ed Christian School said in a statement.

“A student brought a handgun to school this morning,” Cyber-Ed Christian School said in a statement issued yesterday. “While a majority of the students were eating breakfast in designated locations, this student slipped away to show off the gun to a friend and it accidentally went off. Staff, emergency medical personnel, Police, and all responded quickly. Parents were informed of the emergency. Regrettably, the student did not survive the shooting.

“The gun was retrieved and the student is in the custody of Police. A full investigation is being undertaken by the Liberia National Police (LNP). We will meet with our parents to answer any questions and concerns they have. For the privacy of the students and their families, we are not releasing names at this time. We are currently in touch with grief counselors and therapists to assist us with comforting and help with guiding our student body through the grieving process. Please join us in prayer for the bereaved family whose daughter lost her life today,” the statement concluded.

LNP spokesman Moses Carter said police preliminary probe has shown that the school’s principal, Mr. Emmett Chapin was urgently called at 7:45 a.m. by one of his teachers upon hearing the shooting sound on the school campus.

Jovanus Oliver Turay and Precious Ireland seemed to be close friends. But how close?

Carter says Mr. Chapin recalled that some students saw the three students seated in one of the classrooms listening to music through an earpiece and suddenly they saw victim Precious lying unconsciously after a firing sound.

The parents of the main suspect, Josia Saah, and Sylvanus Turay, a movie producer (who now resides in the USA), have been cooperating to bringing their legal representations to extract statements from the suspected juveniles.

The Cyber-Ed Christian School administration said they are saddened beyond words to inform the parents that one of their students carried a gun on campus and shot another student.

Miss Ireland was later rushed to the SOS Clinic for medical attention but was pronounced dead on arrival by nurses on duty.

The Minister of Education, Prof. Ansu D. Sonii, described the deceased as a shining star that the nation has lost, adding that the dreadful situation was “difficult”. He called on the public be patient so as to allow the Ministry sufficient time in gathering more information on the matter.

He added that the MOE will now consider all possibilities moving forward, thus creating new measures which will safeguard the learning sector from future occurrence.

Unanswered questions

Jovanus Oliver Turay, in a Facebook photo, making a hand gesture pretending to hold a gun

It remains unclear how and from where Jovanus Turay obtained the fire-arm, whether owned by his parent(s) or someone somewhere outside of the home. Turay, an avid freestyle rapper, is seen in two Facebook photos making hand gestures as if operating a gun. Another Facebook photo shows Turay and Precious Ireland in a side hug, suggesting that they might have been somewhat close friends, perhaps close enough for him to disclose the fact that he had obtained a firearm.

Meanwhile Dr. Philip Z. Ireland’s facebook page is inundated with dozens of condolence messages and demonstrations of love and support over the death of his 14-year-old daughter.

President Weah Distraught

President George M. Weah has expressed deep consternation of the unfortunate shooting incident at the Cyber-Ed Christian School in Monrovia, which resulted in the death of the daughter of renowned Liberian Doctor, Philip Zochonis Ireland – who was also a student of the school.

The President conveys his heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved family and all those impacted by the tragedy. 

President Weah said no parent should be made to go through the sad reality of burying a child under such an “inconsolable” condition.

“My heart goes out to the grieving parents, family and friends, and I pray that they can take solace in the bosom of the Lord”, the President said.

The Liberian leader has mandated the LNP, the Ministries of Education, Gender, Youth and Sports, and other relevant agencies to work collaboratively with teacher unions, private and public school administrations to develop and present a plan on how to prevent this sad event from happening again in the future and also address the growing problem of rowdiness and violence in many schools.

Meanwhile, the Liberian National Police has announced the detention of a student who is reported to have snuck the firearm onto the school premises, leading to the killing of the female student.

7 COMMENTS

  1. This is much better written than FPA.

    This boy happened to be in Cyber Ed. He could have been at any other school. To blame the school as if they told students to bring in firearm is not right. Minister Sonii when was the last time your ministry implemented security measures at schools.
    Blame him and his parents that were raising a gangsta.

    RiP PI

  2. This version of the story really gives a clearer picture of the incident, thanks Daily team.
    Sadden by this and the Government needs to come up with straight plans/action on how to stop this from re-occurring, we are too poor as a nation to begin to see this happening amongst our kids.

  3. This photo answered it self that guy have had a gun in his own possession before so its clearly stated that he have play with gun before but have never have the opportunity to carry with him on campus thanks reporters

  4. It’s sad that everyone is t seeing the truth of the matter no matter it says it was an accident…it could b a big mistake an accident it doesn’t mean he’s a gangster…have u not seen how rappers and the videos show kids to think that all that is cool?! U can b the best parent n the 🌎 and ur kid could make that mistake and so it’s instantly they’re fault…I feel awful for the girl that passed and her family but it’s all parties to think about in situations like this

  5. “Nikki “ aka Sylvanus Turay or aka Josia Saah, “Think about“ extremely irresponsible, insensitive, and very wickedly LYING PARENTS WHO WOULD CHOOSE TO LIE ON A DEAD MAN …the ex and dead boyfriend ( the late Lauvette Williams) of the mother of that spoiled 16 years old killer and murderer? You must be joking.

    FYI, according to police records now, the mother (Josia Saah) of that killer has lied that her ex and dead boyfriend Lauvette Williams owned the gun which her Josiah Saah’s spoiled and loose son used to carry out his pre meditated murder.

    Police records now maintain that the mother of this killer Josia Saah long BROKE AWAY from her then boyfriend and left the home of the very late boyfriend far before 2018 when the boyfriend Lauvette Williams she is now lying on because he is dead, died.

    In fact, according to police records, Lauvette Williams the ex boyfriend of the mother of this killer, NEVER EVER OWNED A GUN.

    So, get it clear here that you do not know what a “mistake“ is, nor what a “truth“ is. No wonder you sound no different from the father of that spoiled kid turned murderer who according to him Sylvanus Turay, the public’s concern about an innocent child been killed is an act of been “carried away by the death of a child.“ What an insensitive disposition (on the part of this so called father of a killer Sylvanus Turay) so worse than that of a beast or a monster!

    Now, “the truth of the matter“ is that THE IRRESPONSIBLE, VERY WICKED, AND DONT CARE MENTALITY of two parents (Sylvanus Turay and Josia Saah) who have SPOILED THEIR CHILD to the extent that shooting and taken loaded guns to school were the same as studying and taking books to school, has gruesomely taken the life away of an innocent little girl and devastated ESPECIALLY her parents and siblings.

  6. Nikki or S. Turay or Josia Saah,

    In this particular situation, I think you should be compunctious than being combative. Turay’s action cannot be justified in any civilized way. A cold bloody murder has been committed. And you know it. You should give the impression that you are remorseful.

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