The well-known school warden, 41, was dressing for a party when she was shot at her window
Dana Sterling Augustus, 41, who lived on Mayflower Street, was getting ready to go to Lodge Hall around 12:10 Saturday morning, September 1, for a night of fun when someone in her yard called for her.
Reports are that the mother of seven children (one deceased), a well-known school warden, opened the window of her elevated wooden house to see who it was and was shot in the chest, abdomen and head by a gunman who, according to reports, was one of three intruders in her yard. She died while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
Dana, a single parent, lived with her daughters in the house. We are told that no man had been living in the home for over four years, and that everyone in the neighborhood knew that.
Augustus’ sister told Amandala that she was in her house at the back of the yard when she heard a barrage of gunshots in her vicinity. She said that the sound of gunshots in the area was nothing strange, so she ignored them.
Another gunshot exploded shortly after, and she looked out of her window to see policemen in the yard. She came out to see what was happening and that was when she was told that the woman who lived in the house in front of the yard – her sister – had been shot.
She said that Dana was shot through the glass window in the kitchen, and fell by the refrigerator in the house. The ceiling was damaged by about thirteen shots that impacted it.
According to police, the gunmen fired from the walkway, and went up onto the veranda and fired some more into the house after she was hit.
Her sister believes she could not have been hit from downstairs, so the shooter must have come upstairs onto the verandah, about five feet off the ground, to shoot her through the window – a window that has a lace curtain that allowed one to see from outside who is inside.
Her sister said that Augustus, whose source of pleasure was of the harmless sort – parties and carnival carousing — did not deserve this vicious death.
She said that when she saw Dana, her body was drenched in blood, but she was able to see three bullet holes in her chest, and that she was bleeding in her head.
She said that the family is terribly shocked by the incident, and can think of no reason why Dana was killed.
Dana, she said, was very cheerful, friendly, and easy to get along with. Dana had been a school warden at the Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist Primary School for around 13 years, and according to her sister, she had not reported that she had been threatened, or that her life was in danger.
Dana Sterling Augustus is survived by 4 daughters, 2 sons, her father, 5 sisters, 3 brothers and a host of cousins and other relatives.
Police have detained several persons, and according to Ministry of National Security press officer, Raphael Martinez, persons have come forward with information on the incident. Inspector Yearwood, the police press officer, clarified this morning at a press conference that investigators do not believe Augustus was actually involved in gangs, but that she may have been a victim because of her association with other individuals who may have had some ties to gangs and because of living in a gang-infested neighborhood.
Police believe that Augustus’ death may be directly related to a shooting a few hours earlier, late Friday night, in which Lucretia Myvette, 23, was shot in her upper back while socializing with family members at the corner of Vernon and Sibun Streets. Lucretia was shot about two blocks away from where Dana was killed.
Police said that around 10:30 p.m. on Friday, August 31, Myvette was sitting on the sidewalk at the corner of Vernon and Sibun Streets, along with her mother and her sister, when a gunman rode up on a bicycle. He took out a gun from the waist of his pants and fired several shots in their direction, hitting Myvette in the back.
Myvette was rushed to the KHMH, where she was admitted to ward. She was released from the hospital today, Monday. Police have since launched an investigation, but no suspects have been detained and the motive for the attack is as yet unknown.
Myvette and Augustus are the second and third females to be shot in three days. The first was a student, Desiree Aranda, 14, who was hit by a stray bullet in her home on Cumberbatch Street after gunmen opened fire on a group standing on La Croix Boulevard around 5:30 p.m. last Thursday, August 30.