He was a serial cheater, abuser and ultimately a murderer: it was a cycle Rouleene Clarke-Gowans was trying her best to break away from, but cut short after her estranged husband Patrick Gowans ended both their lives along Wavel Avenue in St. Andrew, Wednesday morning.
Clarke-Gowan’s eldest daughter Shantae, detailed in a Facebook post shortly after the murder-suicide that Partick Gowans had mentally and physically abused her mother for years. Mrs. Gowans finally found the courage to leave him at the start of 2019.
“She was tired of it and left at the beginning of the year. She was filing for divorce,” the distraught daughter remarked.
Shantae explained that her heartbreaking open letter was necessary to clear the air on any lingering misconceptions on the deteriorating relationship between her mother and the abusive step-dad, adding that at the time of her death, Rouleene was living between her house and her father’s (Shantae’s grandfather).
“This is not the first time he tried to kill her from the year started,” Shantae noted.
The double death is especially distressing for the family as the couple’s 12-year-old daughter saw the whole thing and urged her pregnant mother to run when Mr. Gowan pulled the gun.
“She (Rouleene) was on her way to work in the morning when he lay-waited her (with my 12-year-old sister in the car), he saw her and ran to her with his gun. My sister tried to hold him back saying ‘Daddy no, MOMMY RUN!’ but he flashed her off and continue to chase after my mom. My sister continued behind him,” Shantae wrote.
“He approached her and started putting the gun to her head,” Facebook post wrote, as Shantae added, “My mom said ‘KC u don’t have to do this’.”
Rouleene’s desperate plea fell on hardened ears as Mr. Gowans shot her in the stomach.
“She was a couple weeks pregnant which most person did not know but he knew. She fell to the ground,” Shantae added.
The post indicated that the 12-year-old daughter, who was now beside her father, watched as the man shot her mother twice in the back and once in the head – killing her.
“He fired two in her back and one in her head and then proceeded to put the gun in his mouth and killed himself,” Shantae continued.
It would come as to shock to the thousands of Jamaicans who reacted, showered condolences and shared the post – to realize that even after all the chaos, Mr. Gowan was still alive after he shot himself.
Shantae urged victims of similar abuse stories to seek the help and support they need, and called the killing the ultimate act of sadness.
“Please keep my family especially my sister Patreeka and my 3-year-old daughter Zoel in your prayers and thoughts as we grieve the death of my mother. RIP Mommy and I will make you proud by taking up where you left off by being a mother to my sister. I will always and forever love you!” the post ended.