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Questions unanswered

By STACY MOORE Tuesday, December 24 2013

AS FUNERAL arrangements were being finalised yesterday for Lance Corporal Rawle Fletcher who was gunned down on Sunday morning, relatives were still asking questions.

“Things are just not adding up. There are so many unanswered questions. Why would they want my brother dead? That I need to know,” Roston Fletcher said. He said his brother was like a mentor to many in the village where they grew up. “If it had any fight, he was the one to part the fight and tell everyone to conduct themselves. He set an example to many, so I just can’t understand why anyone would want him dead,” Roston told Newsday.

Speaking at the family home in Polo Grounds Road, Preysal, Roston said he wants closure for his grieving relatives and an answer to his question, “Why?”

Sister Nekesha said the family is coping but it is difficult. “We just lost our brother and we don’t know why. It is hard. But we have to cope,” she said. Fletcher, 34, was killed along with his best friend businessman Mitra Maharaj, 46, of Orchard Gardens, Chagunas and National Energy Skills Centre (NESC) student Anil Diram, 19, of Gran Couva.

The killings occurred near Inshan Ali Park, Polo Ground, Couva where scores of people gathered overnight Saturday for an All Fours Single Table competition.

Investigators believe the bullets were meant for Fletcher and that Maharaj and Diram were caught in the line of the gunmen’s fire. The shooting occurred at about 3.25 am on Sunday.

Fletcher, Maharaj and Diram were near the park when a red SUV stopped and the occupants firied shots.

Fletcher, Maharaj and Diram died on the spot. Autopsies were done on the three men yesterday at the Forensic Science Centre, St James by pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov.

Dr Alexandrov said the victims died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. Alexandrov said Diram had raised his right arm to shield himself. A natural instinct, Alexandrov said, was for the teen to turn his body to the assailant exposing his back. A shot penetrated his chest.

Fletcher was shot nine times with Alexandrov saying even after Fletcher was dead and lying on the ground, his assailant shot him at point blank range.

Maharaj was also shot multiple times, with one bullet entering from his left ear and another through his left cheek. Maharaj’s wife Anita Balkaran who went to the Centre to witness the autopsy, said she had to leave the room when she saw how her husband’s head was literally blown apart by the large calibre bullets.

“It was too much , I couldn’t bear to see him like this,” she cried. No arrests have been made. In a media release, the TT Defence Force said funeral arrangements for Fletcher have been set for Friday.

Civil Military Affairs Officer Major Al Alexander said a military funeral would be held at 11am at the Isaiah Temple Spiritual Baptist Church, Polo Grounds, Couva. The release said that the church service will be followed by a military procession to the Preysal Public Cemetery where Fletcher would be buried. No arrests have been made in all three murders and investigations are continuing.

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