Plymouth man gunned down in Tobago’s 9th murder

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Police crime-scene investigators examine the scene of the murder of Anthony Maynard in Plymouth, Tobago, as bystanders look on Wednesday night. – Photo courtesy Visuals Style

A 42-year-old man became Tobago’s ninth murder victim for the year after being shot multiple times in Plymouth on Wednesday night. This is the second murder in Tobago in the past week.

Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Farley Augustine has called a press conference for Friday, where he is expected to speak extensively on the crime and murders having expressed serious concerns in late December, in the wake of a record 13 murders committed last year.

The news conference will be held at the Division of Finance, Trade and the Economy, Wilson Road, Scarborough at 12 noon.

In the latest incident, Anthony “Seeba” Maynard was gunned down while liming with friends. Three others, identified as Justin Black, 22, Ordell Melville, 27, and Timothy Johnson, 28, were also shot and seriously wounded.

The three are all from Plymouth.

Police said that around 9.14 pm on Wednesday, Maynard was liming with a group of friends at Chatham Street when a white station-wagon pulled up. Two gunmen got out and began shooting at the limers. They then got back into the car which sped off.

Police said Maynard died on the spot.

Black, Melville and Johnson were taken to the Scarborough General Hospital where they remained warded in serious condition up to press time.

A police hearse removes the body of Anthony Maynard after he was gunned down in Plymouth, Tobago on Wednesday night. – Photo courtesy Visuals Style

Crime scene investigators processed the scene and recovered several spent shells. Also visiting the scene were Insp Bacchus, Ag Insp Sterling, Sgt Gordon Pollard and Sgt Thomas. Officers from the Homicide Bureau of Investigations are investigating.

No motive was given for Maynard’s murder and police said that no arrests were made.

Police are also still investigating the killing of Nikesha Sandy at Jaegar’s Hall Trace, Plymouth, on May 9.

Sandy, 29, a labourer with the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment, was walking along the road in the company of other people when two men approached her.

They fired several shots and she fell to the ground while the others scampered. Sandy’s assailants escaped by running along River Road, Plymouth.

Commenting on Tobago’s crime scourge, Minority Leader Kelvon Morris called for the immediate convening of a Tobago-centric crime symposium where stakeholders from the widest cross-section can come together, and along with the leadership of various arms of national security in both Trinidad and Tobago, discuss the crime crisis and identify meaning solutions to restore safety.

He also renewed his call and that of the PNM Tobago Council for communities to surrender illegal firearms and unite against the rising gun violence.

“Today, my heart is overcome with the grief of the families of the nine Tobagonians who have been murdered. Each murder in Tobago is one too many and therefore it is time that fellow Tobagonians stand in solidarity against the peril of gun violence that threatens our peaceful way of life,” Morris told Newsday via WhatsApp.

“It is imperative that we collectively denounce the presence of illegal firearms, which in the wrong hands, have caused devastation in our communities. Through unity we can forge a safer and more secure Tobago for all of us first and our visitors alike.”

He had some strong words for those who knowingly harboured criminals.

“You too are part of the problem and you need to do better. We must all take a zero-tolerance (approach) towards crime and criminality.”

The Darrel Spring/Whim assemblyman urged Tobagonians to encourage a culture of peace, harmony and empathy “as we strive for a future where the echoes of gunshots are not commonplace in Tobago.”

Morris said he stood in solidarity with the efforts of law-enforcement officers.

“I encourage them to do what they must to return Tobago to the peaceful and pristine environment that our beautiful island is so well-known and loved across the world.

“As Minority Leader, I stand ready to work with any and everyone. Therefore, I am calling for us as Tobagonians to unite against gun violence and crime generally as we have the power to re-establish a Tobago characterised by safety and serenity.”

Innovative Democratic Alliance (IDA) political leader Dr Denise Tsoiafatt Angus called on Government to develop a “structured and predictable process” for optimising the security apparatus in Tobago.

Police crime-scene investigators take pictures and notes at the scene of the murder of Anthony Maynard in Plymouth, Tobago on Wednesday night. – Photo courtesy Visual Style

“The ad hoc volunteer committee of the Chief Secretary has proven ineffective and must be replaced with a well-researched, strategic plan. It is essential to have a dedicated and professional security framework that can respond effectively to the unique challenges faced by our island,” she told Newsday via WhatsApp.

Tsoiafatt Angus said the IDA remained committed to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to create a comprehensive crime-prevention strategy.

“We believe that through community engagement, improved support systems and a robust security infrastructure, we can restore peace and safety in Tobago. We urge the government to prioritise this issue and take immediate action to protect our citizens.”

Progressive Democratic Patriots political leader Watson Duke, responding to Tobago’s latest murder, said, “Tobago lacks strong leadership, which is what the island needs at this time.”