Man tries to wake up dead son after shooting

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Sumentra, left, and Shamilla Straughn, both sitting, grandmother and mother, respectively, of Dillon Daniel Straughn speak to Newsday as other family members look on at their home at Perseverance Village, Carapichaima, on Wednesday. Photo by Marvin Hamilton

The Straughn family of Carapichaima is distraught over Saturday’s shooting death of a 24-year-old fisherman, emphasising that he was not a thief.

Bereaved relatives told Newsday that Dillon Daniel Straughn left the family’s house at Perseverance Village in Carapichaima at around 8 pm on Friday. He told them he was going out to lime with some friends, something he often did.

His father, David Straughn, 46, said he was on his way to work when he got a call on Saturday morning that his son was involved in a car crash at Waterloo Road, Carapichaima.

The construction worker said he went to the location, thinking Dillon got minor injuries.

“I saw him on the seat. I said, ‘Boy, you crashed the car and knocked out. Get up and let us go home.’ Then I noticed a hole in the back of the head,” David said.

“He had some money in the back seat, clothes. The two other people were already out of the car.”

The police said Dillon died on the spot before daybreak on Saturday.

The police said there was a dispute between Straughn, his two passengers, aged 16 and 17, and residents over cable theft allegedly committed moments before the shooting.

Dillon was shot in the driver’s seat of his B12 car that crashed into another car.

One passenger suffered minor injuries, and the other was unhurt. No one was injured in the other car.

The police questioned the two teenage passengers and later allowed them to leave without charges.

Dillon’s grandmother’s Sumentra Straughn, 73, said she was asleep at the time of the shooting and does not know the reason for it. But she was sure of one thing — he was not a thief.

“He left here at around 8 pm on Friday. That was the last time I saw my grandson. Saturday morning after I made breakfast, I got a call that he was shot and killed. That is all I know. He was a hard-working fella. My grandson was not a thief!” Straughn said.

From what relatives were told, Dillon might have been involved in a hit-and-run accident after leaving a gas station on his way home.

“It seemed he bounced a car. He did not have insurance. We do not know if he was running away. But something transpired, and he was killed. We do not know what cable theft people are referring to,” a relative said.

“He had no cable and or tools when the police found him dead. There was a huge stone next to his body, and the back windscreen was smashed in.”

Dillon, the eldest of four siblings, often stayed at his girlfriend’s home in Chase Village in Chaguanas.

Dillon’s parents are separated.

Dillon’s mother, Shamilla Straughn, 40, said she immediately felt weak when she got the call about his death. But she gathered the strength to leave her home. The boy was already removed when she reached Carapichaima.

Two men are assisting the police with the investigations.

An autopsy is set to take place at the Forensic Sciences Centre in St James, pending a covid19 test.