|DEATH NIGHT |
By CECILY ASSON and RYAN HAMILTON-DAVIS Tuesday, April 8 2014
FOUR men were gunned down in two unrelated incidents during a night of death on Sunday which saw three members of one family being cut down in a hail of bullets at a house in La Romaine while another man was shot dead in front his horrified wife and young son in Gasparillo.
Death came calling for Maurice “Boyo” Leshmore, 29, his brother Dillon Leshmore, 22, and their brother-in-law Kwasi Vincent, 29. All three were fathers.
According to a police report, at about 10.40 pm, the Leshmore brothers and Vincent were liming with friends outside a building at Pond Street, La Romaine, when without warning, three masked gunmen opened fire on the limers, hitting the brothers and their brother-in-law multiple times.
According to eyewitnesses, the gunmen squeezed their way through a galvanise fence at the back of the building before opening fire.
During the shooting, Leshmore’s cousin Kevin Williams, 42, ran upstairs the building and jumped from a verandah on to a roof about 15 feet below. He was shot in the leg and remains warded in serious condition at San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH).
When the smoke cleared, relatives found the bullet-riddled bodies of Dillon and his brother-in-law Vincent on the ground at the entrance to the ground floor apartment where they were liming. Maurice Leshmore, who was near the roadway collapsed and died on the steps leading to the building. The other limers managed to escape unhurt.
A party of police officers led by ASP Williams and including Insp Dhilpaul, Sgt Gajadhar, WPC Charles and PC Alcala visited the scene. The bodies were viewed by the District Medical Officer and ordered removed to the mortuary of the SFGH.
The triple murder left the Pond Street, La Romaine, community — where the victims lived — in a state of shock.
The Leshmore brothers were the sons of veteran San Fernando DJ Hyacinth “Brother Base” Thomas. Their mother Angela Leshmore died four years ago. Dillon was the father of a four-month-old child while Maurice was the father of a six-year-old son and Vincent was the father of two daughters.
When Newsday visited the scene yesterday, bloodstains were still on the ground and stairway where the three men fell after being shot and bullet casings littered the ground. A relative, who was liming with the three men and witnessed the shooting, yesterday recalled the incident.
“We were liming and watching television when Kwasi and Dillon got up and went outside while I went into the kitchen to make a sandwich. I sat down on a couch with a female friend to eat when I heard gunshots outside. About 20 shots were fired and my friend screamed saying her daughter was outside.
“She opened the door but had to slam it back shut when a gunman pointed his gun straight in her face. She locked the door and then I heard more shots. They emptied their guns into those three,” the relative said, adding that after the gunmen ran off, he and others ventured outside and saw Maurice dead on the stairs while brother Dillon and Vincent were outside clinging to each other as they lay on the ground. “They were hugging each other. I actually saw them take their last breath. What happened here was a massacre. All of those fellas were family. It real hard...one minute we were liming and the next minute, everyone dead. God was with me last night,” the relative said.
Outside the Forensic Science Centre, St James yesterday, Wendy Leshmore was at a loss for words as to a motive for the shooting which deprived her of her brothers and brother-in-law.
“I don’t know if those men were looking for someone else and they just saw the fellas liming and just started to shoot up the place. They shot everyone except a little girl,” Wendy said. Other relatives expressed their shock as they emerged from the Centre after viewing the bodies of the three men.
“My neighbour called me as I was asleep, saying ‘Wendy, come up the road quick!’ Right after, another relative called me saying my brothers were shot,” Wendy said. Both brothers were construction workers while Vincent was a painter.
Vincent’s wife, Candace Vincent, 26, was as shocked as the Leshmore family at the violent death of the three. According to Candace, she got a call from her cousin who gave her the shocking news that her husband and his two brothers-in-law, were killed.
Man murdered in front son
In the other incident on Sunday night, a 38-year-old man was gunned down in front of his five-year-old son and wife. Vikash Chablal, still too young and innocent to comprehend what happened, yesterday told his mother Ria Jagdeo, “the police will make my daddy come back alive and bring him home for us.”
A weeping Indra Jagdeo, 64, yesterday told Newsday she does not know how to explain to little Vikash that his father was gone. Newsday was told the killer, wanting to ensure that Chablal was dead, shot him twice about the body and twice in the head.
Indra’s daughter Ria Jagdeo, 37, shared a common-law relationship with Chablal for the past eight years and built their house not too far from hers (Indra). Chablal had three
other children from a previous relationship.
A month ago, Chablal began working as a driver with a private wrecking company, his mother-in-law told Newsday during an interview at her home in Caratal Road, Gasparillo, yesterday. The family, she said, remain baffled as to the motive for the killing.
According to a police report, at about 7 pm, Chablal was in the company of his common-law wife, Ria, and their son in the yard of their home at Caratal Road when a masked man approached them and opened fire. Chablal died as his wife and son looked on. The gunmen then left without harming mother and child.
Outside the Forensic Science Centre, Ria said she was at a loss for words as to what she and her son had witnessed. “He was leaving for work and out of the blue this man just came up and shot him. I really don’t know what was the reason,” Jagdeo said. She added that Chablal had earlier returned home to collect a bill book which he forgot and when he was leaving, they were confronted by the gunman. She described Chablal as a humble, friendly person who was family oriented.
A shocked Indra said over the years, she listened to news about murders and read about it in the newspapers, but never once thought that one day crime would come home to her.
The four killings have brought the murder toll to 123 for the year. No arrests have been made in the two incidents and investigations are continuing.