Double tragedy in Cunupia: Woman, father-in-law gunned down

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Sharlene Lawrence, 28, was shot dead by gunmen at her Sampson Trace Extension, Cunupia, home on Sunday. Her father-in-law Roy Mahabir, 75, was also killed in the attack. PHOTO COURTESY RELATIVES

Instead of celebrating the birth of his newborn son and planning for the year ahead, a Cunupia man was plunged into mourning after his common-law wife and father were gunned down on Sunday night.

Police said Sharlene Lawrence, 28 and Roy Mahabir, 75, were at home at Sampson Trace Extension, Cunupia at around 11 pm when gunmen confronted and shot them.

Newsday understands one of the men was wearing a police uniform.

Both Lawrence and Mahabir died at the scene.

An elderly relative was in the house at the time of the murders.

Newsday spoke to Lawrence’s widower and Roy Mahabir’s son, Adrian Mahabir, at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, on Monday.

Mahabir said the murders have left him shaken and grieving.

In addition to dealing with the two deaths, he said he now has to care for his five-year-old son and baby.

He added that he and Lawrence had been excited for the new year and looked forward to buying a car

“I have a double tragedy to deal with and I have a one-month-old baby boy to take care of, He was born premature. Yesterday was supposed to be his expected birthday but he was born early.

“This girl (Lawrence) didn’t play with her children. She took mothering very seriously.

“We were expecting to get through with a loan and we were going to organise to buy a car, because I told her I didn’t want her to use public transport to visit her father or to go anywhere. If we had a car it would have been safer and more convenient. That was our whole mission.”

Mahabir said Lawrence was a cashier at Rhum Runners wholesalers, and dedicated her life to raising her children and building her career.

He said his father was a retired carpenter and mason who worked hard to support the family and would often put the well-being of relatives before his own.

Roy Mahabir, 75, was shot dead while at home on Sunday.
His daughter-in-law Sharlene Lawrence, 28, was also killed in the attack.

Mahabir said the only way left for citizens to keep themselves safe was migration.

“The only advice I can give is for people to move out of Trinidad and go somewhere else, because this place gone through, Go to Guyana or someplace. This place just have coldness.”

Newsday also spoke to Lawrence’s uncle Derek Roberts, who questioned the mindset of killers, but was confident that one way or another justice would be done. He added that both sides of the family would support Mahabir and his children.

“I’m feeling it like if it’s my own child that I lost.

“I don’t understand what’s really going on. It has me really confused. How these people could do something like this and wake up in the morning as normal? Don’t they have families of their own?

“I keep telling people there is a God and what goes around comes back around.”

Roberts’s son Keshorn Carmona, 19, was murdered in 2018, with his friend Victor Walker, in Tunapuna. Roberts said he still lives with the pain of his son’s murder and called on the police to do their best.