3 mass shootings help push murder toll past 200

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Members of the TT Defence Force keep watch on March 16 at Harpe Place, Port of Spain, after five men were killed. – Angelo Marcelle

THERE have been 201 murders as of May 10, nine fewer when compared to last year’s 210.

However, May 2024 has three more murders compared to the same period in 2023.

The new year began on a bloody note when a mother and daughter were murdered. The double murder came as the nation still grappled with a shooting at Courts Megastore car park off the Churchill Roosevelt Highway, which left two siblings dead and one man paralysed, with two others injured.

Carmelita De Leon and her daughter Calida Schamber were shot and killed on January 2 and 12 hours later, Tesson Bradshaw, a 48-year-old soldier, was held in a forested area at Blanchisseuse Road in Arima in connection with their murder.

On January 3, two men were killed and three others injured during a shooting near Tunapuna Market. A car pulled up near the Priority Bus Route entrance when a gunman opened fire, hitting the five victims.

One man died on the spot, another was pronounced dead on arrival at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope. Dead were Mikel Voison and Aaron Leander. The three injured were 22-year-old Christine Hosein, Alex Alexander, 33, and Nathaniel Gajadar, 22.

January 14, 15-year-old Isabella Teelucksingh, of Savary Road and her aunt, Hema Boodoo, 20, of Kelly Village, Caroni, were both shot in Las Lomas when a man shot at a group of people walking along the road.

Around 7 pm the suspect and another man got into an argument about football that turned physical. The suspect then went to his home and returned with a gun. He opened fire at passers-by, hitting the two women before fleeing.

Teelucksingh was shot in the head and died at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex. Boodoo was shot in the pelvic area.

On January 16, a gunman opened fire on a group of men liming at Paradise Heights, Morvant, killing three men. Israel Mc Laren, 19, Shaqkeem Dennis, 26, both from Paradise Heights, and Jammol Williams from Upper Mapp Lands, Belmont, were taken to Mt Hope General Hospital, where they succumbed to their injuries.

The men were sitting on a bench shortly before 8 pm when a vehicle pulled up, and several men in what appeared to be police uniforms ordered the trio to “freeze.” The men complied and were shot multiple times.

On January 20, a drive-by shooting in San Juan left three with gunshot wounds, including a teenage boy who was liming along Shende Street after midnight. No one was killed.

In February 5, two friends were shot and killed hours apart in San Juan. At around 1.15 pm, Mikeal Williams, 30, of Febeau Village, San Juan, was in an open shed at the corner of Cocoa Road and Sou Sou Lands when he was shot and killed.

Police arrived at the scene and found Williams lying on the floor near a refrigerator. He had been shot several times. A 19-year-old woman standing nearby was also shot in the abdomen.

Hours later, 26-year-old Jamal Roach, who was walking along Laventille Road in San Juan, was shot and killed after gunmen opened fire on him. He was on his way home after visiting his children.

An evening out for families turned horrific at KFC in Marabella when two customers got into an argument, leaving one man with stab wounds and another dead.

On February 16, CCTV footage showed Luka Goring and the suspect in an argument, which quickly escalated into a scuffle. Armed with a knife, Goring attacked the suspect, stabbing him several times. The man took out a gun from under his jacket and shot Goring, who ran for cover but was shot again at close range before collapsing motionless.

On February 20, a man was shot and killed near the Gloster Lodge Moravian Primary School, Belmont, leaving students and teachers shaken up.

Amoa Howe, 50, was gunned down outside the school’s compound and his body lay open for the children to see.

At the time, a teacher told Newsday that the students were taken aback by what happened and some children were afraid the assailant would enter the compound.

Days after the Gloster Lodge shooting, 11-year-old Ezekiel Paria, of the Eastern Boys’ Government Primary School in Port of Spain, was shot in the head and killed by a stray bullet while standing along Laventille Road, East Dry River, near his home.

Gunmen ambushed a passing vehicle and the intended target, 39-year-old contractor Ahkel Fairbairn and his 15-year-old daughter, who were both in the car. Fairbairn was injured, his daughter escaped unharmed.

On March 5, vendors and shoppers were sent running for safety when a roadside vendor was gunned down in a brazen daylight shooting on Charlotte Street.

Jaheim Diaz, 20, sold juice and bottled water at the corner of Charlotte and Duke streets near KFC when he was shot dead. A gunman wearing a black T-shirt and a mask walked up to him and opened fire, shooting him in the chest.

Four-year-old Amarah Lallite was beheaded at her home at Fifth Street, Arouca. –

Diaz fell backward and the gunman stood over him, shooting him two more times before running off.

Elijah Babb, aka Mike Man, a DJ at 96.7, was fatally shot at Eastern Quarry, Laventille. When he slowed his car to go over a speed bump, an unknown man ran up to the car, shooting him several times. Babb was one of seven people killed in separate incidents over the weekend.

On March 11, four men camping at Basil Trace, Mayaro were executed around 12.30 am when six men dressed as police stormed their camp and ordered them to lie on their abdomens before shooting them. The murdered men were identified as Jeremiah George, Marcus Buddy, Dion Keyon Mendoza, and Buddy George.

A police sergeant was among five people killed on March 16 following a gang-related shooting at Harpe Place in East Port of Spain. Three of the victims died on the scene and two at the Port of Spain General Hospital. Three others were taken to the hospital with gunshot injuries.

The victims were liming around 10.55 am, near the Housing Development Corporation apartment complex, off Observatory Street, when a car drove into the compound, and the occupants opened fire indiscriminately, leaving Rudolph James, Randy Graves, Sgt Larry Phillip, Pete Noray and Devon Jack dead.

The three injured were Richard Pierre, who was left paralysed, Wendell Primus and Akina Thomas.

An altercation among residents at the HDC Oropune Gardens complex in Piarco, which started on Good Friday, turned deadly after two men were stabbed to death and two other people were injured on March 30.

Reports say the suspect armed himself with a nine-inch-long knife and stabbed Imtiaz Mohammed, Imraz Mohammed, and a 17-year-old girl. Imtiaz died at the scene, and Imraz later died at the hospital. The 17-year-old girl was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

The suspect was later held after he barricaded himself inside his apartment.

On April 8, four-year-old Amarah Lallite was beheaded at her home at Fifth Street, Arouca. Her 39-year-old stepfather, Inshan Constant, was held the same night and charged with her murder on April 12.

Lallitte’s was struck with an object in the head and also stabbed multiple times in the head. Her body was discovered in one room and police found her head in a barrel at the back of the house.

Lallitte’s mother, Tricia Villaruel and the man got into an altercation, she ran to the Arouca Police Station for help. Villaruel returned with the police, where she found her child’s mutilated body.

On April 9, 19-year-old Nicholas Andario Baptiste, of Sahadeen Trace, Vega De Oropouche, Sangre Grande, was stabbed by a 25-year-old woman at a recreation ground in Vega De Oropouche.

The pair were having a conversation that broke out into an argument when the woman, who was armed with a kitchen knife, stabbed him multiple times.

On April 19, on Piccadilly Street, near Green Zone Sports Bar, Lettrelle Daniel, 23, and Jamal Etienne, 32, both from Laventille, were sitting in a parked car when two masked gunmen approached and started shooting.

The men attempted to flee their assailants and crashed their car into a parked vehicle on Henry Street.

Also on April 19, Claude Sandy, of East Dry River, was killed in a midday shooting at Mariquite Street in Port of Spain. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Port of Spain General Hospital. A 26-year-old man was shot in the right leg during the shooting.

Sandy was driving his car when a group of armed men standing on the street opened fire on his car.

April 20 at Pro Bar on Malabar Extension Road, Arima, where Zion “Papi” Butcher, 22, was found lying face down at the corner of Malabar Extension Road and La Croix Street, with gunshot wounds to his head and body.

Around 6 pm, on April 24, Andre Alexander, 48, of Mountain Road, Hololo, was liming in the road in front of a garage opposite his home when an SUV pulled up, and two gunmen got out and fired several shots at Alexander before they drove off. None of the bystanders liming with Alexander were injured.

May 4, four people were killed and eight wounded in a mass shooting at Powder Magazine in Cocorite. The deceased are Shaquille Ottley, Antonio Jack, Sadiki Ottley and Jonathan Osmond, all of Phase 1, Powder Magazine.

Around 11 pm, the group was liming at Building F when a dark-coloured car drove onto the compound, stopped at the entrance and two men in dark clothes got out of the car and started shooting.

In Tobago, eight people have been murdered for the year, including two women.