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Vendor shot in head after row over pie

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
A member of the Inter Agency Task Force patrols Block 8, Laventille, as shootings continue between rival gangs — Muslim City and Rasta City — yesterday. PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE

Sixty feet away from the state-of-art Duncan Street police post and hours after he had an argument with his victim over a pie, a man reportedly walked up to a 56-year-old street vendor and shot him once in the head. Ralph “Ralphie” Peters is now warded in a critical condition at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital after he was shot in the forehead by his attacker who ran in the direction of Piccadilly Street and escaped. 



Police said the shooting took place around 1.15 pm while Peters, who lives at Picton Road, Laventille, was selling fruit at the corner of Duncan and Queen Streets. Police said the shooter, who was captured on closed-circuit cameras, fired three shots at his target. They are aware of who they are looking for and believe an arrest would be made soon. 


Police said they heard three shots and when they came outside they saw Peters bleeding at the side of the road and took him to the hospital. They were washing blood out of their vehicle when the T&T Guardian visited the scene. Peters’ son, Daniel, who was packing away his father’s cart, said it was just unfair what happened. “The man came to make an honest hustle. This has to be fixed. Something has to be done,” Peters said. 


In an unrelated incident, police were at Block 8, Laventille, yesterday collecting evidence after another shootout between people from the area and opposing gangs from Picton Road. Police who were on the scene when the T&T Guardian visited said they were called after a resident returned home and found a bullet casing outside her door. 


Residents, including those of Picton Road, showed the media large bullet holes at the side of their homes. The ongoing war between the two areas led to the shooting deaths of 39-year-old mother of five, Petrina Salandy, and 15-year-old Rohan Ayres, at St Paul Street on Sunday morning.


Police on the scene at Block 8 told the T&T Guardian a horse which used to graze at lower Block 8, which is listed as part of the “Muslim” side of the Rasta City vs Muslim war, has been stolen and is now being kept in the Beetham Gardens which falls under the Rasta City faction. Police said the gangs would consider that “a sign of disrespect,” and they expected retaliation. 


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