|IT WAS MURDER |
Stories by Rachael Espinet Tuesday, July 8 2014
Two best friends from Couva who were first thought to have perished in a vehicular accident in upper Tacarigua on Sunday were actually murdered.
Autopsies done on the bodies of Shastri Rampersad and Jason Adams revealed that both men were shot twice in the head.
Forensic pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov who conducted the autopsies at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, believed the two victims were shot with two separate weapons. They were found in an overtured vehicle on St Michael Road, Tacarigua, at about 12.30 pm on Sunday. Rampersad, 36, and Adams, 38, were both from Milton Road, Couva.
Arouca police were alerted to a black Nissan Navara pickup lying on its hood on the side of the roadway on St Michael Road. The top section of the windscreen was shattered, and police observed blood on the roof of the vehicle and the remaining windscreen. Nearby residents told police that they had heard gunshots before the discovery of the vehicle.
The forensic evidence revealed that the men were shot before the car accident. Alexandrov said the amount of blood found at the scene was not consistent with the usual blood spatter patterns of an accident. Alexandrov noted Rampersad was wearing shorts, and the back of his shorts was soaked in blood.
Alexandrov recovered two bullets, one from Adams and one from Rampersad. The other two bullets were not lodged in their bodies. The findings led police to believe the men were shot by two persons from positions on either side of the vehicle. Alexandrov said, “Rampersad was shot from the left of the head, and Adams was shot at the right of the head. The two wounds were very close to each other.
“Both of them had a pair of wounds.” Alexandrov said one wound was from a distant range and the other at close range. The pathologist concluded the men were shot while the assailants approached them from two directions, on either side of the vehicle. He described this as a “mirror image homicide.”
He also noted that except for post-mortem injuries, the bodies did not indicate that they sustained any injuries from the accident. The pathologist further stated it was possible that after the men were shot the vehicle went out of control and flipped over. “By the time the car flipped over the men were dead,” Alexandrov said.
Following the two autopsies yesterday, police officers were called in and informed they were dealing with two homicides and not road fatalities.
Relatives of Rampersad and Adams who tuned up at the Forensic Science Centre yesterday recoiled in horror when they found from the reports that the two men were murdered.
Rampersad was a senior plant operator at Methanex, and his girlfriend, Michael-Ann Beckles, described him as a “fun loving teddy bear.” She was inconsolable when she learned of his murder. Rampersad was one of three siblings, and the middle child between an elder brother, Satchin, and younger sister, Sonia.
Adams was a father of five children, three boys and two girls. His eldest daughter is 13-years-old, while his youngest son is nine years. He was a welder and his relatives said he and Rampersad were best friends.
They said the two men went liming that Sunday. A relative also said Adams took care of his brother’s five children as he is presently incarcerated.