|HIT FROM PRSON |
By Nalinee Seelal Tuesday, May 6 2014
A lone gunman armed with a high powered weapon — part of a plot originating from behind prison walls — was responsible for the shooting death of Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal on Sunday morning.
This is revealed by intelligence sources and also from video captured by both CCTV cameras on Hamilton Holder Street in Woodbrook where Seetahal was killed, and also from a telephone by a member of the public who was on the crime scene unknown to the assailants.
The video clearly shows a white Wingroad pulling to the front of Seetahal’s Volkswagen SUV, while a panel van pulled to her right at O’Connor Street, Woodbrook.
A man is then seen sliding open the side door of the panel van armed with a gun and firing at Seetahal, the bullets entering through her right side window. The footage also shows the bullets striking Seetahal on the head and upper part of the body and the attorney slumping over her steering wheel.
An autopsy report revealed Seetahal was shot five times.
Intelligence officials are said to be working on information received that the person who carried out the assassination is a known shooter from the East who now resides in Laventille.
According to well placed sources, a prisoner is believed to have ordered the hit from behind the walls of the Port-of-Spain prison. Arrangements were put in place with instructions to the shooter, said to be a gangster, on how the hit should be carried out.
The prisoner who is believed to have ordered the execution is due to be interviewed by the police.
Following the shooting on Sunday morning, the two vehicles utilised in the crime are seen in the video speeding away towards Wrightson Road. Newsday understands that the CCTV footage was being cleaned up yesterday so that faces could be recognised, while the telephone video appeared clearer.
Police probing the murder also secured footage from Ma Pau Casino in which Seetahal is seen leaving the establishment, at about 11.55 pm on Saturday night, escorted to her car by a security guard.
Seetahal’s vehicle was parked on the fourth spot in the car park and Newsday understands she did not win anything from games she played in the casino.
Police investigators also discovered that the Wingroad used to block the front of her car was parked close to Ma Pau and the occupants had been monitoring Seetahal’s departure.
The vehicle had cement packed in the back seat as well as the trunk. The occupants of the panel van were parked elsewhere and it is believed when Seetahal left the casino, communication was made between the occupants of the Wingroad and the shooter who waited in ambush in the panel van.
Newsday also learnt the killers may have decided not to attack Seetahal as she entered the compound of One Woodbrook Place where she lived, since an armed plainclothes guard usually carried out duties there and they did not wish to take any chances.
Investigators have also secured other footage from business places and other sources in the area.
Investigators also believe that the two vehicles used by the killers in the assassination of Seetahal were stolen.
According to information received, Seetahal was followed for several days by the killers who knew her every movement including what time she arrived at home, where she limed and shopped, and every other detail about her whereabouts.
Newsday also understands that the killers were told Seetahal was a regular visitor to Ma Pau and this would be the easiest way to gain access to her.
According to intelligence sources, the payment for the killing was not money but rather guns and drugs which the prisoner promised would be delivered upon the completion of the job. Yesterday attempts were being made to locate the suspected shooter who has now gone into hiding. However, police investigators know him since they have a profile on him. He is believed to have gotten help in the execution from members of his gang.
Yesterday Wayne Dick, Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the Homicide Bureau, told Newsday that officers from special units have now teamed with officers of the Homicide Bureau to assist the investigation into the murder of Seetahal.
He said, “the team that I lead is committed and with their stick-to-it-iveness will see to this successful end of this investigation in a timely manner. The success is really focused, failure is not an option.”