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Murder in Laventille

By RYAN HAMILTON-DAVIS Wednesday, March 19 2014

RAPID gunfire rang out in Shouter Hill, Laventille heralding murder number 105 for the year as Marvin “Brad” Gift, 28, was cut down in a hail of bullets at his home by gunmen who pretended to be police officers.

According to police, at about 4.30 am Tuesday, the part time labourer was awakened by knocking on his door and shouts of “police, open the door!” As he opened the door of his home, Gift was cut down in a hail of bullets. He died at the scene.

When the shooting subsided, Gift’s relatives ran to the front of the house and saw his body on the floor. “I heard banging and a male voice shouting, ‘Police! Open up!’ I was even wondering why the police was outside at such an early hour in the morning,” said a relative of Gift who asked not to be identified. Moments later, he added, gunshots rang out.

“I called out for my mother and told her to stay inside. I then ran and hid under the bed,” Gift’s relative recalled. After the shooting ended, the relative got out from under his bed and went to investigate, later finding Gift’s body. “I just started to bawl,” the relative recounted.

Relatives and neighbours described Gift as a quiet individual and denied that he was involved in any gang activity. In fact residents made it a point to tell Newsday they had, “absolutely no problem” with Gift.

The residents said Shouter Hill is usually a peaceful street nestled among gang turf. “This area is very quiet,” a resident said. “Here only has working class people and pensioners. However there is gang turf all around the area and there have been instances where gangsters have either run up or down this street,” a resident said.

Gift’s aunt Marilyn Scott was in a state of shock. As she watched undertakers remove Gift’s body, Scott muttered, “I don’t know why he answered that door.”

Another relative, also watching as the body was being removed, said, “life isn’t worth anything in these parts. You could get killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time or even for being seen associating with the wrong people.”

The District Medical Officer (DMO) later ordered Gift’s body removed to the Forensic Science Centre in St James for an autopsy. Up to press time, no arrest was made and investigations are continuing.

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