Black Immigrant Daily News
Ackiel Brereton, centre, breaks down at his wife Sachel Elliot’s and her daughter Nova’s funeral at the Lewis Innis Memorial Baptist Church, Moruga, on Thursday. – Marvin Hamilton
For his safety, heavily armed police escorted Akiel “Freeman” Brereton to the funeral of his common-law wife and their infant daughter in Moruga on Thursday.
Brereton had facial injuries and wore a cast and sling on his right hand.
The lone survivor in the deadly shooting wept openly as he stood next to his surviving child, a nine-year-old boy, at the Lewis Inniss Memorial Baptist Church in Fifth Company Village in Moruga.
Shortly after the bodies of Sachel Elliott, 32, and her daughter Nova Brereton were brought to the front of the church, he left with police as if he could no longer bear being there. He was taken to an undisclosed location.
Nova would have turned two on June 29, 2023.
Both bodies were wearing white clothing in the same casket. Next to the bodies were two dolls from the popular YouTube channel, Cocomelon.
On top of the casket was a bouquet of flowers with pink ribbons bearing the first names of the slain mother and daughter.
Elliott’s uncle, Winston Garcia, told mourners that holiness had left the house of the Lord.
Garcia sent a message to “young people,” saying: “Holiness is no longer a subject in the church. Young people do not understand how to live a holy life. The fear of God is no longer in our lives.”
Regarding the person responsible for the double homicide, Garcia added, “If this man had a fear of God in his heart, do you think he would have done this? There is no fear of God nowhere.”
Garcia said he prayed for the strength to officiate as the deceased were his nieces.
He cited religious teachings adding that God gave Isaiah a vision of holiness.
“We are losing our young people because there is no vision of holiness and for fear of God. Be holy young people!” he said.
Many people wore t-shorts bearing the images of the mother and son.
One of Elliott’s cousins, Terri Valdez, delivered the eulogy and shared fond memories.
“I am sure she is holding Nova tightly, and Nova is watching all of us, especially me, with the most serious face and pout mouth,” Valdez said.
Ackiel Brereton, centre, is escorted by police to his wife Sachel Elliot’s and her daughter Nova’s funeral at the Lewis Innis Memorial Baptist Church, Moruga, on Thursday. – Marvin Hamilton
Valdez referred to Elliott as a gentle, kind, and ambitious person, always working to ensure her family had everything they wanted and needed.
Valdez added, “It is so strange reading and recalling all the fond times we had together, knowing I will never get to relive any of these moments again.”
Pastor Paul Bobcombe, of the Indian Walk Open Bible Church gave remarks saying the deaths were not accidental.
“It is a loss, a preventable loss, and that is what makes it painful. Accidents happen, this was no accident. It was planned and performed. But God wants us to treat the realities of now, to see what we can do to prevent things from happening in the future. God also ministers to us on our dark days and hard times,” Bobcombe said.
He also said death is inevitable, and everyone should prepare for it.
He added, “The funeral homes can help us to bury the dead, but the funeral homes cannot see about death. It is the responsibility of the church. Those of us who grew up in the matrix of the bible, let us start going back to church.”
The bodies were taken to Paynter Cemetery at Indian Walk for burial.
On December 19 at around 7.50 pm, a gunman walked into Elliott’s mini mart at Fort George Road, Indian Walk in Moruga, and shot the couple and their daughter.
Brereton, the police believe, was the intended target.
The mother and daughter later died at the Princes Town District Health Facility.
On Thursday, the police charged Cleon Teesdale, of Indian Walk, with the double murder as well as the attempted murder of Brereton.