Two young men who had joined a crowd of angry civilians to apprehend an alleged notorious criminal, identified only as Emmanuel, were killed last Sunday morning in the Chicken Soup Factory Gulf community, near Gardnersville.
One of the victims was a 21-year-old student, Morris Tiah.
Eyewitnesses told the Daily Observer that at about 4 a.m. on Sunday, an alarm was sounded in Bassa Town, across Black River, with residents chasing after two alleged criminals, one identified only as Emmanuel.
One of the alleged rogues swam across the river naked and when the news got to the other side, residents also came together to find him, this newspaper was told.
“Later we came to find out that two men had been killed, including Morris, a good kid in our community,” according to one eyewitness.
Morris Tiah had reportedly joined a large group of people to search for the alleged rogues.
Another source informed the Daily Observer that the alarm indicated that two men were suspected of trying to break into a house in Bassa Town, Chicken Soap Factory community.
“But we only saw Emmanuel and later Morris who we all knew was not a rogue,” a neighbor of Morris Tiah said.
“Tiah was an 11th grade student,” a resident who said he knew him, stated and added: “and he was no rogue.”
Morris Tiah’s body had a huge knife wound on the back, and he was in his short pant, like many of those who had come out to search for the suspects, some of the eyewitnesses said.
Speaking to the Daily Observer, Tiah’s father, Samuel Tiah, 57, said, “I left my son, along with his younger brother Cyrus in the house and came out with light to calm the angry crowd raging outside.
“I was shocked to later see the body of the boy that I had left in the house outside dead.”
Meanwhile, a 15-man committee, with the advice of the LPRC-Police Department, has been set up to investigate the circumstances leading to the murder of Morris Tiah.
Mob violence, according to residents interviewed by the Daily Observer, has become part of communities’ efforts to deter crimes.
“We should begin to refer cases to the proper authorities, like the police,” an unidentified man, who claimed that he was a police officer, told the Daily Observer. “If the public had not carried out instant justice, Morris would not have died,” he said. But many residents told the Daily Observer that due to the delay of the police and other law enforcement people to ensure justice for victims, the public has found it necessary to execute instant justice, with sad consequences like the killing of Morris Tiah, who others claimed could not have been involved in armed robbery.
Emmanuel, on the other hand, had been involved in violent activities in the community for many years.