Family of murdered man in Barataria baffled over his killing

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Shaoubaca Elie was murdered on Tuesday at the Barataria Recreation Ground. –

THE family of 42-year-old Shaoubaca Elie, who was shot dead while constructing a drain at the Barataria Recreation Ground, is baffled as to why anyone would want him dead.

Elie, an employee of the San Juan Laventille Regional Corporation, was said to be sitting at the back of the pavilion with one of his co-workers at around 10 am on Monday.

The Barataria Recreation Ground where 42-year-old Shaoubaca Elie was shot dead on Tuesday. – Photo by Gregory Mc Burnie

A gunman walked up to him and shot him at point-blank range.

Elie’s co-workers fled, and he tried to run but managed just a few steps before stumbling and falling. He was then shot several more times.

Residents reported hearing at least seven gunshots.

The gunman then got into a waiting Nissan AD wagon and drove off.

Elie’s family and co-workers told Newsday he was a family man and a keen pannist.

His mother Bridget Elie said she was in disbelief over his murder.

“He don’t get himself in trouble. He’s a fun person. Anywhere you see him, it’s always a smile, always a joy, always a happiness.

“I still can’t believe it, that it’s him they shoot. I can’t believe they shoot him down, just so, for no reason. That doesn’t make any sense at all.”

Another relative said Elie did nothing apart from work, provide and spend time with his family and play steelpan.

“He was a captain in Trinidad All-Stars. And when he not playing pan, he either in work or home with his family. He has five children.

“How are we going to tell his daughters what happened to their father? He didn’t even get the chance to see them grow up. They are still in primary school because the last three (children) are (aged) five, six and seven.”

Several co-workers described him as a “good soldier” and said he was never known to be involved in any nefarious activity.

“He doesn’t even smoke,” said one colleague.

“He is a real good brother. You know people always say when these things happen the man not in anything, but it is true in this case.

“He was only about his work and his family.”

Elie’s sister Pearl Elie dismissed reports circulating on social media that he was the relative of a drug-lord.

“It is nonsense. He has been playing pan with All-Stars from a young age. Wherever you find pan, you will find him and wherever you find his family, you can find him.

“That is what he lived for. Go to work, go back home with his family. Some people just try to make people look bad for something that they know nothing about.”

She described the crime situation as “ridiculous” and said she had no confidence that his killer would be caught.

“This has happened, and you wouldn’t get any information after that. You wouldn’t know anything about what’s going on.

“The police will have it (as) another little black boy that get gunned down and the menace and them still roaming the streets right now.”

Residents expressed shock that the shooting took place in broad daylight.

One told Newsday she was left in doubt when she heard the gunshots.

“I said to myself, ‘No that’s not gunshots, not at 10 o’clock in the morning. By me? No, not by me.’ I know it was gunshots but I couldn’t believe it.”

Another woman said the shooting left her daughter traumatised.

“We heard the gunshots, and my daughter burst open her bedroom door and started bawling and told me it sounded like they shot somebody by her window.

“She was very traumatised. It’s a sad thing, very sad thing.”

One young resident said she was surprised by the shooting and intends to be more cautious after the incident.

“Things like this usually don’t happen around here at all so it was really shocking. I didn’t react at all when I heard the gunshots because I didn’t expect it to be gunshots because that doesn’t happen here.”

Other residents say they will not let the shooting affect them and described the shooting as a “one-off incident.”