Girl, 12, shot in head; toddler, 3, escapes hail of bullets – CHILDREN IN LINE OF FIRE

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

SORROW: Anil George, brother of murder victim Asha George, is hugged by their weeping aunt Bernadette David-George on Thursday after Asha and her boyfriend Devon Drayton were gunned down in their Claxton Bay home. PHOTO BY MARVIN HAMILTON –

A 12-YEAR-OLD GIRL was fighting for her life in hospital after being shot in the head by gunmen who stormed her Claxton Bay home and killed her mother and her mother’s boyfriend shortly after midnight on Thursday.

She was one of two children caught in the line of fire yesterday, with the second being a three-year-old girl who was miraculously unharmed when gunmen opened fire on her father while he was driving, killing him on the spot.

In that case, police said that at 11 am, Anderson “Crabby” Ross was driving out of Madras Road, St Helena on Thursday when gunmen ran up and opened fire on his vehicle. The rear windscreen was shattered by bullets and the windows of both front doors were riddled with bullets.

DEAD END: Crime scene investigators at the bullet-riddled car belonging to Anderson Ross who was shot to death in Madras Road, St Helena on Thursday. Ross’s three-year-old daughter, who was in the backseat, miraculously escaped unharmed. PHOTO BY AYANNA KINSALE –

The child was sitting in the back-seat and although more than 20 shots were fired, she was unhurt.

Shortly after, videos of the bullet-riddled car were widely shared on social media, with many commenting on the location of the shooting – a stone’s throw away from a popular pizza restaurant.

At the scene, police could not say how many gunmen were involved.

Ross’ sister, who asked not to be named, admitted he had been “in and out of stuff with the law.” She said she was unsure what his occupation was. “If you live a certain way…mummy grow us up to be God-fearing but her son chose to go a different way. It is what it is,” she told reporters.

Family members were comforting the child at the scene and said taking care of her is now their main priority.

Residents said these types of crimes are not common in the area but they are not too shocked given the level of lawlessness and extreme violence in the country.

A copy of the police’s profile on Ross was later circulated online.

GUNNED DOWN: Anderson Darrel Ross. – Sharlene Rampersad

The 17-page document showed Ross was charged 43 times for offences ranging from possession of drugs to kidnapping. Several of those charges were dismissed while the majority was listed as pending.

Ross was described as a “gang co-ordinator” with one major criminal gang.

Police believed he was also affiliated with other gangs and was responsible for co-ordinating several shootings and other serious crimes within Northern and Eastern divisions.


In the earlier incident, gunmen stormed the one-bedroom home of Asha George and her boyfriend Devon Drayton shortly after midnight on Thursday.

The couple was shot dead and George’s 12-year-old daughter was shot in the head. Up to press time she was warded in a critical condition. A 14-year-old relative managed to escape before the shooting and later alerted police.

The four were asleep on a mattress at the time of the attack.

When police arrived, they found the injured girl standing in front of the doorway of the Hill Top Drive house with blood streaming from the gunshot wound to her head. She was taken to the Couva district health facility and later transferred to hospital.

The double murder brought back painful memories for George’s brother Anil George and other relatives.

On March 14, 1999, Asha and Anil’s’s father, SRP Eric George, shot and killed his wife and the siblings’ mother Tara George mere metres from the family’s house. He then shot and killed himself.

SRP George was a household name in the 1990s for his uncanny ability to pick out and arrest people mainly for having marijuana.

On Thursday, Anil wept as he recalled that his now-deceased sister was only six when their parents died in the murder/suicide.

MURDERED: Asha George, shot dead at her Claxton Bay home. – RE-COPY

Anil recalled seeing his parents’ bodies smeared with blood on the road. He admitted having a difficult childhood as he moved from house to house. Anil said he remembered being 13 and weeping as he asked God to bring back his parents.

Anil said his sister formerly worked with Cepep and at a bar. Anil said Drayton moved into the area last year and he knew little about him.

George’s aunt, Bernadette David-George, who is visiting from Tobago, said she felt immense pain in her stomach early Thursday. Before dawn, her adult children in Tobago called her with the news.

“Whoever did this could hide from the law, but they cannot hide from the Lord. I came here on Tuesday and visited another niece a stone’s throw away from Asha. The sun was so hot I did not go to see Asha that day. I kept saying I have to go and check her,” David-George said as she hugged and consoled Anil.

No one was in the house where the shooting happened when Newsday visited. Residents were tight-lipped.

In January 2018, George’s childhood home was torched two days after her then boyfriend Jeremiah “G5” Stephen, 23, was killed at Tambu Hill in Springvale.

The front door of the house in Claxton Bay where couple Asha George and Devon Drayton were gunned down as they slept on Thursday. PHOTO BY MARVIN HAMILTON –

Stephen was originally from Couva but moved to the area months earlier. He was alone in the house. Eyewitnesses reported seeing a white Nissan B14 car stop at the entrance to the street. Several men got out and ran up the hill, where they entered the house and shot Stephen.

Two days after Stephen’s murder, gunmen set fire to the house before dawn. Police were working on the theory that the arsonists may be the same people who killed Stephen. Neither George nor her children were home when the fire broke out and gutted the wooden structure. George’s parents were the original owners of the house.


At the Forensic Sciences Centre in St James, Drayton’s older brother Marlon told Newsday he was terrified given the spate of murders. He called on the public to be more vigilant of their surroundings.

Drayton said he did not know why anyone would want to harm his brother as he never complained of being threatened. He said his brother was known as a friendly man who had a deep passion for football.

“He and I were really close. All he knew was football. My mother would warn us about how dangerous it was all the time.

“The fact that a child was shot just makes the situation even more unbearable and how unscrupulous these criminals are.”

Drayton said there needs to be an immediate intervention from the authorities to tackle crime.

“I feel terrified myself and for the people of Trinidad and Tobago because this situation regarding murders, it is getting out of hand. It seems nothing is being done and no focus placed on stopping murders.”

He said while the authorities should improve their response, citizens also have a responsibility to get involved in the fight against crime.

Sgt King, PC George and others from the Central Division, as well as officers from the Homicide Bureau of Investigations (Region III) visited the scene. Up to press time, no arrests were made in either incidents.