Screams of grief for murdered Gonzales man among five killed in 18 hours

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

‘HAVE MERCY!’: A relative of Delano Pierre is being consoled on the corner of Observatory and Quarry Streets, Port of Spain, after he was shot and killed while driving a Port of Spain Corporation vehicle on Monday. – AYANNA KINSALE

RESIDENTS of Harpe Place, who were looking on as police processed the murder scene of murdered Port of Spain City Corporation driver Delano Pierre, were silenced on Tuesday afternoon when his daughter came and began screaming out for him.

Pierre, police said, was killed at about 2 pm as he was driving out of the corporation’s Divisional Headquarters located at the corner of Quarry and Observatory Streets, Port of Spain. The 46-year-old of Jubilee Street, Gonzales, died after two men shot him at least seven times. The killers then ran away.

Police said Pierre was killed merely for living in an area where some men were at war with men from another area. Opposite where he was killed is Harpe Place. On Monday night two men were shot there, resulting in one death.

Police said both Harpe Place and Gonzales are mainly the Rasta City Gang’s territory. There are pockets of Gonzales that are controlled by the Six Gang. Those two gangs are at war.

Pierre was not a member of either, nor was he a member of any other gang.

As police processed the crime scene, taking photographs and interviewing family members who arrived, residents of Harpe Place peeped through their windows, murmuring.

The chatter, audible, but not loud, died when the child screamed her first “Daddy!”

Those who in between their chats made inside jokes, became quiet. Young men who were previously observed talking, stopped. A few women were seen with their eyes filled with tears. One could not hold it any longer and cried, as Pierre’s daughter screamed repeatedly for her father.

The woman who began crying was overheard saying she could not control her emotions.

“I can’t take this nah! I feeling sorry for she. She give me a headache one time.”

Pierre’s daughter arrived at about 3.35 pm and did not stop crying until the family left the scene. She stopped screaming for a while and started again around 4 pm, when undertakers began removing Pierre’s body from the Hyundai truck in which he was killed.

As she screamed, she was joined by another relative who shouted out for Jesus to have mercy on the killers.

Police crime-scene investigators on the corner of Observatory and Quarry Streets, Port of Spain where Delano Pierre was shot and killed while driving a Port of Spain Corporation vehicle on Monday. – AYANNA KINSALE

“What he do to deserve this? Because he from Gonzales? This is overbearing! Have mercy Jesus! This is a senseless killing. He came to work to make a dollar” she shouted.

As she shouted, three police officers who were huddled together were overheard asking each other “When will it end?”

The woman, who identified herself as Pierre’s cousin continued shouting saying had Pierre been her child she would have responded differently. The officers on hearing this said among themselves that such comments were the norm at murder scenes.

After Pierre’s body was removed and his daughter was being taken away from the crime scene, a police officer with the Victim and Witness Support Unit spoke with her and those with her. Among them was one of Pierre’s cousins, a police officer, who left her colleagues side and hugged and cried with other relatives when the daughter began crying out for her father.

Pierre was one of five men murdered between Monday night and Tuesday afternoon and was the second man killed while in that area.

On Monday night, 27-year-old Laventille man and Rasta City member Avery Weekes was shot while walking along Observatory Street. He ran into Harpe Place and was followed. He collapsed and the killer stood over him and shot him repeatedly.

Police said at about 8.30 pm the killer came out of a white car, shot Weekes and jumped back in the car and escaped after driving along Bath Street.

Weekes was taken to the Port of Spain General Hospital and was declared dead on arrival. Another man was shot in the back in the attack and is warded in a stable condition.

Eight hours after Weekes was shot, two men were killed while on their way to work in Arima. The men were killed 30 minutes apart with police unsure if it was done by the same person/people.

Police reported that at about 4 am, Darryl Jessop, an employee of Swissport, was found dead after they responded to a report of gunshots in the area.

Residents of Mt Zion, Maturita, police said, reported hearing gunshots and called the police, who found Jessop’s body. Jessop lived at Tumpuna Road, Cumuto, and was staying with relatives in the area.

In the second Arima shooting, 57-year-old Brian Carter was found dead after residents of Hoyte Avenue, heard gunshots. Carter worked at Coca-Cola and lived about 200 metres from where he was killed.

The fifth man murdered within the 18 hour span was Dennis Nero of River Road, Lower Santa Cruz.

Nero, a mason with the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) was standing on Saddle Road near the Croisse at about 6 am when a man walked up to him and shot him in the head.

Nero died at the scene. He was killed between two police stations, the San Juan Sub Station and San Juan Police Station.

The killing of the five men took the murder toll to 380 for the year.