Girlfriend killed as brothers targeted by gunmen

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Michelle Alexander, mother of Jevon and Brandon Joseph speaks to Newsday at her home in La Canoa, Santa Cruz on Wednesday. – Sureash Cholai

THE mother of two men targeted by gunmen grieved at her La Canoa Road, lower Santa Cruz home for a woman who was shot and killed in the crossfire after gunmen stormed her son’s home on Wednesday morning.

Police said Ashley Morris, 28, was at the home of her boyfriend, Brandon Joseph, at around 7 am when she heard noises outside and went to check.

Gunmen shot her multiple times before going to look for Joseph.

Joseph managed to escape with one gunshot wound to his right leg.

Morris was pronounced dead on the scene and Joseph was taken to the hospital where he remains in a stable condition.

On Tuesday, Joseph’s brother Jevon, a 26-year-old gardener was killed by gunmen as he walked near Cakes Land, La Canoa Road, around 2.15 pm. He was shot several times.

A DMO pronounced him dead on the scene and his body was taken to the Forensic Sciences Centre for an autopsy. Investigations are ongoing.

When Newsday visited the area the men’s mother Michelle Alexander sat on a concrete step of her porch, holding her head as she was being consoled by two other relatives.

She could not think of a reason why anyone would target her sons.

“When they killed the first one I was in a mess. I haven’t slept yet so I was up when I hear the gunshot this morning. The first person that came to my mind was my other son and right away my belly locked and burned.

“But they could have let that girl go. If they had something with my sons they could trash it out with them, but that girl was innocent. I want to know why they would kill a woman like this. Killing the girl was not called for.”

Morris had been in a relationship with Joseph for three months and recently moved in with him.

“I have to ask the people who do this: ‘Why? Why kill the innocent girl?’ She got caught up in the crossfire but that should not happen. Is it that you didn’t want any witnesses? I watch this woman go in front of my eyes. I am a woman. All I will say to the people that do this is: how you make your bed is how you will lay down.”

She has left the murder of her first son in God’s hands.

“This is the life we live in. Life will go on but I would say this: the crime situation is a mess. People will get tired of the bloodshed and start to riot. This is not under control.

Another relative of the men, who did not want to be named, believes he will be the next target but has decided not to go into hiding.

“When his (Joseph’s) brother got killed I spoke to him and his girlfriend and we planned to have a lime to cheer up his mother for Independence Day.

The man, who lives a stone’s throw away from the Josephs, said, on his way to the house, he heard gunshots and ran back home.

“They shoot them up for a whole half-an-hour. When it finished, I meet him (Brandon) come down on the track and I take him. And the police and ambulance came and rushed him to the hospital.

“I don’t understand why someone would do this, but all three of us move together and I feel I’m next and I don’t know why.

The men are originally from Port of Spain but moved to Santa Cruz to move away from criminal elements and influence.

The relative said “The brother that got killed was warned not to go up by Cakes Land because of the reputation of the area but he still went to check a friend. As soon as he left, got killed on the road.

The relative has no faith the police can arrest the perpetrators.

“They can’t protect me. I asked them if they plan to do more patrols, because I feeling uneasy now, and they told me they would try their best. They told my family not to sleep up here tonight but I’m not going anywhere because I still have to stick around because my aunt (Michelle) is still there.”

The father of one said his mother would take care of his daughter if he was targeted next.

“It has nothing I could do but protect myself, stay off the road and keep my eyes open.”