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102 murders

By NEWSDAY STAFF Tuesday, March 18 2014

THE murder rate jumped to 102 with unrelated killings being recorded in Morvant and Santa Cruz on Sunday evening and yesterday morning. This prompted National Security Minister Gary Griffith to yesterday comment that his task is not to look at quick fixes but a long term strategy to arrest the crime situation.

In the Sunday evening incident, a 33-year-old man was shot and killed while standing at the corner of Coconut and Poinsettia Drives in Morvant. According to police, Sekio Hope was standing near the Daybreak Assembly Church when at about 6.30 pm, he was approached by two gunmen who shot him in the chest.

Hope was taken to Port-of-Spain General hospital where he died a short while later. His mother, who did not wish to give her name, yesterday described her son as a good, hard working person but admitted a lot of reports were made about him to the police on “domestic issues.”

Hope’s father Chesley Hope said his son was on his way home after a private job on Sunday evening. Chesley said he was told that his son and a friend had gotten out of a car at the corner near the church when another car stopped nearby. A man exited the car, approached and asked Hope and the other man a question. As the conversation ended, and the friends walked off, Hope was shot twice.

In the other incident, Jeffon ‘Booty Cash’ Jordan, was riddled with bullets yesterday at 8.30 am in Santa Cruz. Jordan, 28, of Cocoa Road in Santa Cruz was at Bass Street in Santa Cruz, where he had gone reportedly to make peace with a gang of men whom he had a previous falling out with.

Police said that as Jordan was standing on the road, calling out to the group, he was shot multiple times in his chest, back and head and slumped to the ground where he died. Several persons were seen running away from the scene after the shooting stopped. A report was made to police.

Jordan’s sister Candace could only watch in horror while police officer processed the scene and retrieved several spent shells around his brother’s body which lay on the roadway for several hours.

Speaking about her brother’s death, Candace said Jordan had a “misunderstanding with the fellas up the hill” whom he had gone to in an effort to make peace. “It was a misunderstanding. They all used to talk to each other...they were all friends,” Candace said.

She said when the altercation occurred she was asked by one of the men to speak to Jordan. Candace said she tried to encourage a reconciliation between her brother and the men, however she didn’t know it would result in her brother’s death. “Trying to get them to make peace...that was the biggest mistake of my life,” she cried. Up to press time, no arrests were made in the murders.

Minister Griffith, contacted yesterday for comment on the murders, said he is focusing on long-term changes and not quick fixes, even as he said that one murder alone is a source of concern.

“If it was one murder alone, I would be disappointed,” Griffith said. “We are putting policies in place and changing a whole system of management that has been outdated for decades. What I am not going to go along with are supposed quick fixes and flashy crime plans that serve no purpose other than cosmetic value,” he said, adding that his approach has resulted in some changes.

“The visibility is there and the fear of crime is going down,” he said.

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