(UPDATED) Father of murdered Carenage man: End the gang war

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Romario Jawahir, 24, was gunned down near his Point Cumana, Carenage, home on Sunday night.
A one year old baby was grazed by a bullet during the attack.

Less than a day after Roger Jawahir warned his son Romario Jawahir to be mindful of stray bullets from an ongoing gang war in Carenage, the younger Jawahir was gunned down at a neighbourhood parlour.

Jawahir, 24, was at the parlour on La Horquette Road, Point Cumana, Carenage, at around 9.25 pm when a silver car drove up.

Men in the car shot him several times killing him before driving away.

A one-year-old baby was grazed by a bullet on the left side of her face during the attack. The baby’s parents took her to hospital, where she remained up to Monday. Investigators said she was in “good condition.”

Police from the Coastal Patrol Unit visited the scene with a district medical officer who declared Jawahir dead.

Crime scene investigators found 25 spent rounds of 5.56 mm ammunition and six spent 9-mm shells.

Speaking with Newsday at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, on Monday, Jawahir’s father said while his son was not affiliated with any gang, he continued to warn him about venturing far from home.

On Saturday night a man was shot at on Rodney Street, Pt Cumana, not far from where Jawahir was murdered.

A silver Toyota Corolla with bullet holes was found in the area. Investigators said they found five spent rounds of ammunition.

The elder Jawahir said the shootings were part of an ongoing gang war and called for peace between the factions.

“When that shooting happened I called him on the phone and asked him where he was.

“He said he was at home.

“I gave him a stern warning, I told him, ‘Mario, there are things going on out there. You might not be involved in anything, but don’t stray too far from home.’

“In his mind he was probably telling himself that he was okay, he was in his hometown and those guys aren’t thinking like that.

“They don’t care who they kill, once they send a message.”

Jawahir said residents reported seeing the same car circling the neighbourhood looking for members of the rival gang, but did not find them.

He said while his son’s murder was tragic, he was also pained that a baby was wounded in the attack, which he said was evidence of how ruthless criminals had become.

“It’s sad, and it won’t stop, because the guys they (the gunmen) were looking for, they didn’t find them last night. This will continue even more bloodshed, because they will go back for revenge.

“Whether my son was killed or not, it won’t stop, and it’s sad to see where young men are in a mindset where they want to kill each other.

“Why does it have to be so?”

Jawahir said his son was unemployed but was updating his resume and applying for a police certificate of character to look for a job.

Western Division police confirmed that they also had information of a gang war involving criminals in Haig Street, School Street and other areas in lower Carenage against gangs in Point Cumana and La Horquette Road.

One officer said while the police took all incidents of violent crime seriously, they relied on the support of the public to gather evidence and find those responsible.

He said while it was fortunate the baby survived the attack, it was unfortunate whenever children were the victims of crime.

“This is something we have always been speaking about and this is why we continue to urge the public to support us.

“Bullets don’t have names.

“A child was grazed but imagine how terrible it would have been if the child died.

“I am sure there are people there who saw what happened so we want to urge the public again to be vigilant, be aware and try to help the police however they can.”

Police from the Homicide Bureau of Investigations Region I are continuing enquiries.