Bermudian shot dead in New York
A Bermudian father-of-three has been shot dead in New York just weeks before his young daughters were due to join him there for Christmas.
India, Malaysia and Tanzania Thomas told
The Royal Gazette yesterday how much they would miss their “funny” father Vaughan Carlos Allen, 30, who was gunned down outside his apartment on 224th Street in Laurelton, Queens, just before 4pm on Monday.
A male friend who was with Mr Allen was shot in the chest and critically wounded. The 28-year-old, also from Bermuda but whose name has not been released by police, is being treated at Jamaica Hospital in Queens.
Mr Allen's mother Myrnelle King told this newspaper she was devastated to have lost her best friend and only son, who was known as Bruggles and Bermy Biggs.
The Northlands Primary School teacher will fly to New York today to identify her son's body. A New York Police Department spokesman said Mr Allen, from Warwick, was shot multiple times in the torso, before being rushed to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The spokesman said an investigation was ongoing but no arrests had been made.
Ms King said: “Apparently, they were leaving home and he was jumped on in the street. Somebody tried to rob him. He was living in New York. He was working there.”
She said her son grew up in Bermuda, attending Purvis Primary School and Warwick and St. George's secondary schools. The family spent time in the States and Mr Allen moved there to live six years ago.
“He was just a fun-loving guy, an outspoken guy,” she said. “He loved life. He lived life to the fullest and he helped everybody. He never bothered anybody. Nothing bothered him. He was just happy-go-lucky and dealt with things. No fuss, no fight.”
Ms King said her son loved living in New York. “He didn't even want to come back here because of all the madness that's going on and look what happened to him.”
She described his three daughters, from Hamilton Parish, as “his life”. “He was always a loving dad. They didn't want for anything. Everything was [about] his girls. The sad part of it is the girls were going up there for Christmas.”
The last time Ms King spoke to her son was on the telephone the day before he was killed, while she was at the Christmas parade in Hamilton.
“It was about quarter to eight on Sunday night. He said: ‘Everything's fine, momma.' The three girls showed up and he spoke to them. He said: ‘Okay girls, goodnight' and the next thing we knew he was dead and that's a shocker.”
India said she was “scared and crying” when her mother told her the devastating news. “I didn't believe it,” she said. “I was going to go to him for Christmas but he is dead so we are not going to go.”
The youngster said she and her sisters lived with their father while at school in New York and he spoilt them.
“When I graduated from P6 he got me a white limousine. We got our hair done every week and our nails done every week. He always made sure he had money to keep us safe. He always made sure we had money to take to school.”
The 12-year-old, who attends TN Tatem Middle School with sister Malaysia, 11, described him as “funny, loud, bossy” and a smart dresser who liked to drink Guinness and Red Bull. “He talked about us every day to other people. That's all he cared about.”
Malaysia said: “He spoilt us. He was a little bossy sometimes because he always wanted us to do what was right. He would take us to games rooms. He would give us money when we asked for it.”
She added that the shooting was difficult to take in. “I was crying this morning,” she said.
Prospect Primary School pupil Tanzania, nine, said: “He was nice, he was fun, he wasn't mean. We were supposed to go away to see him.”
The NYPD spokesman said the shooting happened at 3.58pm on Monday. “We received a 911 call of a male shot on 224th Street within the confines of the 105th precinct. When we arrived, there were two individuals who were shot at the location.”
He said both were taken to Jamaica Hospital, where Mr Allen was pronounced dead, and where the 28-year-old remained in a critical condition yesterday.
Mr Allen also leaves behind father Vaughan Allen Sr and sisters De'von Allen and Kelisha, Valerie and Tache King.