By ALEXANDER BRUZUAL and JANELLE DE SOUZA Tuesday, July 17 2012
This can best describe the crime situation within the past four days, from last Thursday to yesterday, in which ten persons were murdered bringing to 234 the number of murders committed so far for this year.
The latest killing spree began last Thursday when Chinese nationals, Wu Xiu Hua, 60, and her husband Yang Jiang Hua, also 60, were shot at their businessplace, Tiger Chinese Restaurant in Cunupia. Wu Xiu died at the scene while her husband died at hospital on Friday.
Yesterday saw five of the ten murders being committed. In Carapo, East Trinidad, three men who residents described as ‘community activists’, were brutally slain. Then, in Diego Martin, Henry Thomas was shot dead. And in Marabella, an unidentified man, believed to have been a Jamaican national, was shot dead.
In the Carapo incident, police reported that Nigel Jack, 35, Anil Harry, 32, and Ricardo Marshall, 28, were liming in the yard outside Harry’s home along Simon Road, when they were approached by a group of men. After speaking briefly to the limers, the men pulled out handguns and opened fire.
Marshall slumped to the ground clutching his chest. Harry and Jack attempted to escape the gunfire, with Jack running to a fence on the northern side of Simon Road but he was cornered and shot to death.
Harry ran to Marshall’s home along Spring Road, a few metres away, but he too was cornered and shot to death. The gunmen then fled the scene. Marshall was found by relatives still alive. He was rushed to the Arima District Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Police led by Supt Nelson and including Sgts Simon, Hernandez and Sinanan visited the scene along with District Medical Officer Dr Lalloo. The area where the men were shot was cordoned off to keep curious residents from getting too close and contaminating the crime scene.
Police sources said the three were “well known” to them and had matters before the courts with Marshall at one time being charged for the murder of fellow Carapo resident Kevin Guy but the case was discontinued by the DPP.
“Those fellars did not deserve to die so and I hope the police catch the killers. Those boys, Marshall in particular, were trying to make peace in this community. He was not innocent. He committed crimes when he was younger but he did his time and was trying to change,” stated a resident who asked not to be identified.
Marshall’s mother Sherma described her son as a caring person who only wanted peace in the area. “He was a man who was all about being just. And these days he was trying to tell all the bad boys to leave the youths alone. He thought what they were doing the children was unjust. He told them, ‘you can’t do that to the youths. They are only children’,” she said, adding that he was a father of two and his common-law wife is currently pregnant.
Harry’s brother Anand cried as he spoke to reporters. “I last saw him at about 6.30 am when he come to borrow $20 to go to work. I then left and went back by me to work (a short distance away). At about 8 am, I heard a set of gunshots and I ran out.
“My sister told me, ‘they shoot the boys’ and I came out on the roadway. I saw Jack and Marshall but not Anil. When I asked people, they pointed me to the track and it was there that I found my brother on the ground curled up,” Anand recalled.
The emotional man called on the police to capture the killers so he and his family can have justice.
Interviewed yesterday afternoon, National Security Minister Jack Warner expressed dismay over the recent murder spike saying the bloodbath had forced him to bring up his crime plan, slated to be announced next month, much sooner than he expected.
“The crime plan was originally expected to be brought into fruition in six weeks. But the way they are going...I will have to bring it up to four weeks. So some parts of the plan will go into action in the coming weeks bit by bit, because I can no longer wait to bring it on stream.
“Just this morning I had a meeting with the Chief Justice (Ivor Archie) and Minister of Legal Affairs (Prakash Ramadhar) and members of the Ministry of Justice to deliberate on plans to deal with this very issue. So I expect certain moves to be made very soon,” Warner said.
And yesterday in Marabella, police said that an unidentified man believed to have been from Jamaica, was in a car with three other men when at about 4.15 pm, he was thrown out of the car along Ramsamooj Street, with multiple gunshot wounds about his body. He later died at the San Fernando General Hospital.
Mothers mourn dead sons
Meanwhile, the mothers of three men who were murdered during this killing spree, yesterday lamented the killings of their sons who they insisted were not involved in any criminal activity.
Tears in their eyes, the mothers of Lincoln Almond of Mason Hall in Tobago, Wayne Ollivierra of Belmont and Henry Thomas of Rich Plain, Diego Martin told their stories to Newsday outside the Forensic Sciences Centre in St James yesterday. The three men were among the ten persons killed over the past four days. Thomas, 25, was found dead with gunshots wounds to his head at Farm Road, Rich Plain in Diego Martin yesterday morning.According to police, Thomas’ body was discovered by West End Police officers at about 12.30 am, after they received reports of loud explosions.
Thomas’ mother Patricia Thomas told Newsday she heard the gunshots and decided to check on her two sons who lived with her and who were both not at home at the time.
She called their cellular phones and got through to one, telling him to be careful when coming home as she had heard gunshots.
Patricia said she fell asleep only to be awakened by knocking on the door of her home. It was three police officers who later told her that Thomas was shot near his home and he was dead.
Patricia admitted that both of her sons would come and go as they pleased and that Thomas was a frequent user of marijuana who would sometimes “trip.” She said that he suffered a “breakdown” several years ago and had a matter before the Port-of-Spain Magistrates Court for biting a policeman’s hand.
She insisted that Thomas was not involved in any criminal activity except for smoking marijuana. “Henry was trying to stay off the weed. It seemed he hadn’t smoked in a while and he was doing well,” Patricia said.
“He was a saltfish with people. He would hustle and do little jobs for people in the area. No one can imagine who would want to do that to him.”
Hyacinth Ollivierra, whose son Wayne was shot dead on Sunday, described him as a community man who fought for peace in Belmont. She noted he was instrumental in raising funds to install a large creche in the area every Christmas and got all parlours in the area avoid selling to children after 6 pm, if not accompanied by an adult.
“We would like to know why they did this,” said Hyacinth after recounting what she was told, happened to her son. She said the father of two was speaking to a man opposite their Gloster Lodge Road home, when a gunman approached and fired shots at him.
Ollivierra rushed after the man to get the gun, when two more armed men approached the pair and entered the fray. After, when Ollivierra was lying on the ground, the three unmasked men stood over him, shot him repeatedly and fled.
Jean Almond, the third mother, said that her son Lincoln would leave his Tobago home and head to Trinidad on Fridays to purchase goods which he sold at a stall back in Tobago. Almond, 39, was shot and killed at Seventh Avenue last Friday.
“My son was quiet, cool, hardworking, loving, giving and helpful. He was the father of Jessie Guy, 14, Andre Gregoire, three and would have been the father of a third child as his girlfriend is due to give birth in three or four weeks,” Jean said.
She added that her son was a health worker at the Tobago Regional Hospital and also ran a stall opposite the hospital selling preserves, fresh fruit, snacks and drinks.
“He was popular. Everyone is calling to find out what happened and to extend their condolences,” she said.