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Shooter wanted teen dead, court hears

A 16-year-old was shot three times at close range by a gunman who wanted him dead, Supreme Court heard today.

Jahrockia Smith-Hassell identified Royunde Stevens Cyrus as the man who fired a gun at him on the night of March 25.

He was hit by three bullets as he sat outside his Rambling Lane, Pembroke home one struck him in the back, another penetrated his abdomen and a third hit him in the thigh.

The evidence was heard on the opening day of the trial against 24-year-old Mr Cyrus.

The Scenic Heights, Southampton resident has denied attempted murder and using a firearm to commit an indictable offence.

Mr Smith-Hassell, who is now 17, took the witness stand this morning. He said he spent the earlier part of the day socialising, drinking, playing ball and talking to girls.

The night ended with him fleeing for his life, according to Crown counsel Kirsty-Ann Kiellor.

She told the jury in her opening statement that Mr Smith-Hassell was sitting with friends on Rambling Lane when the shooting occurred.

“At about 10.22pm, a 911 operator received a call about shots fired in the vicinity of Cedar Avenue and Laffan Street.

“They [the teenagers] heard the shots, but remained where they were, albeit on alert. What the Crown alleges is that later that night, after 11pm, two men walked through Rambling Lane, past Jahrockia and his friends.

“We allege that one of those two men was the defendant, Mr Cyrus.

“These two men, we say, came from the Cedar Avenue direction. They went out of view. But then we allege that, ten minutes later, a lone man coming back from the North approached the group. This lone man, we say, walked up to Jahrockia and shot him three times at close range.”

Ms Kiellor continued: “Jahrockia managed to flee before any further shots were fired. The shooter also fled the scene.

“We say that this shooter intended to kill Jahrockia.”

Ms Kiellor also told the jury that they were dealing with “an ID case”.

“You will hear from Jahrockia that he had known the defendant for a number of years,” she said.

She said the two met one another on the football pitch, and had also been involved in an altercation.

Mr Smith-Hassell recognised Mr Cyrus as one of the pair who passed through Rambling Lane earlier that night, and as the single man who returned shortly thereafter, the prosecutor added.

Mr Smith-Hassell’s evidence this morning concentrated on the layout of the area a narrow road closed off to motorised traffic which runs from Curving Avenue to Parsons Road, with access to Middletown.

The teen said he and a group of friends drank Hennessy and Chivas that day, played football and roamed the area nearby talking to girls.

One of his friends, he told the court, had said earlier in the night: “If you’re not from Parkside, you’re dead in my eyes.”

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Published November 15, 2011 at 5:53 pm (Updated November 15, 2011 at 5:52 pm)

Shooter wanted teen dead, court hears

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