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Murder near courthouse

By NALINEE SEELAL and MARLENE AUGUSTINE Friday, May 2 2014

click on pic to zoom in
TEARS: An unidentified woman, believed to be a relative, weeps near to the body of Fabien London (not in photo) who was shot dead as he was leaving th...
TEARS: An unidentified woman, believed to be a relative, weeps near to the body of Fabien London (not in photo) who was shot dead as he was leaving th...

MINUTES after a Maloney man emerged from the Arima Magistrates’ Court where he appeared before the Third Court magistrate, he was gunned down in full view of shocked persons outside the courthouse shortly after 9.30 am yesterday.

However, the killer’s attempt to escape was short-lived as he was nabbed by police officers who shot him once in the back during a chase. The murder weapon — a semi-automatic pistol — was also seized by officers. The suspect is now under police guard at hospital.

The dead man has been identified as Fabien London, 46, alias “Zoltan” of Arouca. Police sources said that London, who grew up in the Maloney area, was very well-known to them. Yesterday following the brazen killing, the area outside the courthouse was cordoned-off leading to all business at the courts being cancelled for the day.

While the police caution tape was being placed at the crime scene, a woman identified as the girlfriend of the victim, stood nearby weeping. She refused to be interviewed, however another person believed to be the brother of the deceased was escorted inside the court to be interviewed.

While crime scene officers concentrated on collecting evidence, other officers were seen at the Standards Distributors Store interviewing staff.

One of the bullets struck a fridge while another was found on the floor of the building. A glass plate window at the store was also shot through by a bullet. Employees told police officers, when they heard the shots they ducked for cover and were relieved that no one had suffered any injury.

Police sources said bullet fragments retrieved from London’s body during the autopsy would be sent for ballistic tests to confirm the fragments came from bullets fired from the gun the suspect was held with. Yesterday, Assistant Police Commissioner Wayne Dick who is in charge of the Homicide Investigations Bureau was high in praise of the officers who nabbed the armed murder suspect.

“Officers on apprehending the suspect, found a pistol on him. However, in the course of the pursuit, the suspect suffered a gunshot injury. I want to commend the officers who went beyond the call of duty, risking their lives to apprehend this armed suspect. This demonstrates their commitment towards law and order,” ACP Dick said.

On August 26, 2008, gang warfare first reared its ugly head outside the Arima Magistrates’ Court where members of a gang opened gunfire at a member of a rival gang.

The rival gangster escaped unhurt by running inside the courthouse, but police officer Ronnie George suffered gunshot injuries to his buttocks.

Then in 2009, murder accused Peter Garcia was shot dead outside the Rio Claro Magistrates’ Court. As Garcia was being led to court by a policeman, the brazen hitmen walked up to him and cut him down in a hail of bullets. The murder which took place at about mid-morning, was witnessed by police officers and persons gathered at the courthouse.

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