Gunman opens fire in Moruga mini mart – MOM, BABY SHOT DEAD

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Sashell Elliot, 30, and her daughter Nova Bereton who were shot and killed in Fort George Road, Moruga, on Monday night.

A GUNMAN opened fire inside a mini mart in Moruga on Monday night intent on killing a contractor.

However, he instead shot dead the man’s wife and her 18-month-old baby daughter, before leaving him alive but critically wounded.

Although residents of Fort George Road in Indian Walk said they are outraged and deeply hurt over the double murder, none were willing to speak openly about the incident.

Sachel Elliott, 32, and her daughter Nova Brereton died at hospital minutes after the shooting. The child’s father, Akiel Brereton, 40, who residents and police believe was the intended target, was also shot and remained warded in critical condition at hospital up to Tuesday afternoon.

Elliott ran Sachel’s Food and Clothing mini mart at the front of the family’s home. She was the mother of two.

CRIME SCENE: Police at the mini mart in Moruga on Tuesday morning, hours after a woman and her baby daughter were fatally shot on Monday night. Photo by Lincoln Holder

A police report said the couple and their daughter were inside the mini mart shortly before 8 pm when a Toyota Aqua car pulled up. A man with a rifle got out and began shooting, hitting all three.

The gunman then got back in the car which sped off.

The family was taken to the Princes Town District Health Facility, where the mother and daughter died. Brereton was transferred to San Fernando General Hospital. No one else was injured.

Shortly after the shooting, Ste Madeleine police intercepted a car – matching the description of the getaway vehicle – along Manahambre Road and arrested a 34-year-old man of Indian Walk. No weapon was found.

A distraught relative spoke briefly with reporters on Tuesday, first making it clear that she was not around at the time of the shooting.

Little Nova, she said, would have turned two in July. The relative added that Elliot and Brereton have a nine-year-old son.

She added that Brereton lived in a house further along the street but often helped Elliott run the business. His family moved out some time ago owing to a landslip near the house. The woman began weeping and ended the interview.

Several people who had gathered nearby all declined to comment.

Another relative recalled he was at his home located near the mini mart when he heard what thought were firecrackers. For that reason, he continued to lie down and not look out his window. Moments later, he learned of the tragedy.

No resident or relative wanted to give their name and the mini mart was closed when Newsday visited.

Princes Town and Homicide Bureau of Investigations (Region III) police are investigating.

Nova is the latest child murdered this year. At least four other children, under 13, were murdered this year.

On May 10, Levi Lewis, 12, and his mother Abeo Cudjoe, 31, were attacked at their home in Penal. He was stabbed and she was chopped and stabbed. No one has been charged.

On August 20, seven-year-old Mckenzie Hope Rechier of Palo Seco was found dead on a mattress at her home. An autopsy found that she had been manually strangled. Her mother Deniel Rechier, 25, was charged with murder and the case is pending.

On October 15, Jomol Modeste, nine, was killed in a drive-by shooting near the basketball court at Africa Recreation Grounds, Enterprise, Chaguanas.

Jomol attended the Carapichaima RC School. He lived with his mother and other relatives at Carapichaima and was visiting his father in Enterprise.

Three-year-old Nazim Owen of La Puerta Avenue, Diego Martin, was among four people killed on October 23, when gunmen opened fire at Diego Martin Main Road near Winnie Mohammed Road.

The others shot dead in this incident were Chelsea Julien, Akil Keron, and Marcus Noel, all of Diego Martin.

Nazim’s father, Nicholas Owen and family friend Khadijah Villabrera were wounded during the attack.