Family, friends remember Valsayn woman killed by stray bullet

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Leelawatie Lana Sahadeo…killed by stray bullet. –

Leelawatie Lana Sahadeo had a difficult childhood and some difficult times as an adult, including the death of her husband Robin, but she persevered, worked hard and was a selfless and kindhearted person.

These were some of the sentiments expressed by friends and family of Sahadeo who died, at a memorial service for her at the St Augustine South Community Centre, Freeman Road, St Augustine on Saturday. Her funeral was held on December 31, 2023.

She was inside her Spring Village, Valsayn home on December 27 when she was struck by a stray bullet in her head during a shooting incident on the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway that left four people dead. Sahadeo was the owner of the roadside eatery Silver Spoons, near Kay Donna.

“I know she is in heaven. There is nowhere else she would be,” said one friend.

Bishop Placide Pereira, father of Sahadeo’s companion, police officer Antonio Pereira, said everyone had to “pass through” death and only God could walk through death with us so it was important to put God first as Sahadeo did.

He also encouraged the mourners to talk to each other so they could support each other through the pain of loss and stay connected through Jesus.

Those who spoke said she loved to cook and have a good time and was always smiling. She was selfless, humble, kind, hardworking and dedicated to helping others, not only those she loved but those in the community and through charitable works.

Her best friend Allan said she was a genuine person who had empathy for people and touched the lives of many.

“It was unfortunate for her life to end like that.”

He added that many of those present became friends through Sahadeo and told Antonio how much she loved him.

One person said after Robin’s death, she mourned but eventually moved on and became happy with the help and love of Antonio.

“She lived life to the fullest, made new friends and lived to be happy again. Those of us who were close to her knew and recognised that, in the end, she felt loved, comforted, protected and that was the happiest time of her life.”

Sahadeo’s aunt said she was a strong, confident, independent woman who made all her friends her family and they were there to support her in her times of difficulty and celebrate with her in good times.

She said her niece made good business and financial choices and lived a full life. She encouraged those in attendance not to let Sahadeo’s memory go to waste but to learn from her life and follow her example.

Breaking in sobs, Antonio’s daughter also spoke saying Sahadeo was so kind and comforting that she confided in Sahadeo things she never told her parents.

“She was the best person to enter my life the way that she did. I know she loved my dad and my dad loved her.”