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Brothers among four murdered
Hours after National Security Minister Jack Warner met with members of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (Doma) on Monday on developing anti-crime measures, four men, among them two brothers, were murdered in two shootings within a stone’s throw of the city of Port-of-Spain.
Those killed have been identified as Calef Gomez, 22; his 21-year-old brother Ismael Jackson; their friend Jerome Pierre, 22, all of Jackson Place, East Dry River; and Brian Jilkes, 33, of Stafford Court, East Dry River. The murder toll stood at 205 for the year up to late yesterday.
According to reports, around 10.45 pm Gomez, Jackson, Pierre and their friend Ricardo Duncan were on a flight of stairs at Soubrian Place, East Dry River, when they were approached by four gunmen. The four friends were said to be returning home after attending a friend’s birthday party in the area. After a short conversation the four gunmen reportedly drew their guns and shot at the victims.
They ran for safety but the gunmen followed and shot them at point-blank range. Duncan, however, managed to run through a nearby track and hide from his attackers at a neighbour’s home. He was taken to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery and was listed in a stable condition up to late yesterday. He was shot in the left thigh and abdomen.
Residents were unable to identify the gunmen to investigators, owing to poor lighting in the area. Gomez, Jackson and Pierre died at the scene of the shooting. Investigators are working on the theory the victims were confronted by members of a rival gang in an ongoing turf war in east Port-of-Spain. In a separate shooting, almost three hours earlier, Jilkes’ bullet-riddled body was found at Mt Hololo Road, St Ann’s.
A report said around 8 pm residents reported to police that they had heard a volley of gunshots. A short while later they found Jilkes lying on the roadway. Police sources said yesterday the shooting also had been classified as gang-related. ASPs Ajith Persad and Adams, Insp Eric Parks, Cpl Donavon Thompson, of the Port-of-Spain CID, visited the scene.
ASP Forde and Cpl Roach, of the Region One Homicide Bureau, are leading the probe into the triple murder. Speaking with reporters after meeting Doma’s president Gregory Aboud and other members on Monday, Warner announced several new initiatives, specifically aimed at reducing crime in the capital.
These included an increased presence of law-enforcement personnel and an increase in CCTV security cameras in and around Port-of-Spain. Warner sounded a warning while addressing senior police officers, including Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs, at the Police Caravan last Friday. He was quoted as saying: “If the crime in this country does not go down, I shall be every policeman’s enemy.”
Warner is expected to reveal his crime plan in the next few weeks.
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