Friends murdered hours apart in San Juan

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Mikeal Williams ID card – Photo by Gregory Mc Burnie

Police are investigating the murders of two friends who were shot to death hours apart in San Juan on February 5.

Police reports say 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 several gunshots were heard.

When police arrived, they found Williams lying on the floor of the shed near a refrigerator. He had been shot several times.

A 19-year-old woman who was standing nearby was also shot in the abdomen.

Police found several bullets at the scene.

Hours later, 26-year-old Jamal Roach was shot dead while walking home after visiting his children.

Roach was walking along Laventille Road, San Juan when, at the corner of La-Hoe Road, he was shot dead by gunmen.

Another man who was among a group of men playing cards nearby was also shot, but his injuries were not life-threatening.

One of Roach’s relatives, speaking with Newsday at the Forensic Science Centre in St James, said the two men were friends and hailed from the same community.

He said Roach always brought laughter to those around him.

Jamal Roach ID Card – Photo by Gregory Mc Burnie

Recalling their last interaction, the relative said Roach died while they were messaging each other on WhatsApp.

“I heard about the first shooting, and I messaged him to ask him where he was and he said he wasn’t around. I was on the taxi stand a little while after and I messaged him again and he responded.

“After that, I get a call and they tell me he get shoot.”

The relative, who did not want to be named, said the murders have left the family in a state of fear.

“I studying to move out from up there right now. I born and grow up there.”

Williams’s family were in shock over his death, and relatives struggled to compose themselves while speaking with Newsday.

His uncle, Don Williams, said he remembered him as a loving person.

“My last interaction was mere hours before (his death). I saw him and give him a bounce and told him take care of himself.”

He urged young people to stay away from a life of crime, as he said there is only one outcome.

“Long time, when we was small, we used to say with crime is either you make a jail or you dead. It ent have no jail again, yuh dead…So turn away from that life of crime and do something else.”

He said young people also needed to be careful of the company they keep.

“If you playing football, your friends will be football partners, and if you doing criminal activity, you will have criminal friends. So most of the time your friends will influence you and sometimes the friends have a bigger influence than your family.

“It is the company you follow,” he said.

Don Williams also urged parents to “stick with” their children.

“You can’t blame the teachers in the schools when the children coming from a home. so parents have to put down their foot a little more.”

“We can’t blame the police for everything. Is all of we have to do something too.”

He called for an end to gang violence. saying, “The youths and them need to stop that war. It ent putting we nowhere.”