Two men were murdered and two teenagers wounded in separate shootings in Port-of-Spain and Laventille which occurred less than an hour apart on Sunday night.
The murder victims have been identified as Hassen Combie, 23, of Nelson Street, Port-of-Spain, and Akima Mc Dowell, 20, of Marie Road, Morvant.
In the first incident, which occurred around 8.15 pm, Combie was shot dead metres away from his apartment at the Housing Development Corporation’s (HDC) Nelson Street housing estate.
According to police reports, residents reported hearing a volley of gunshots shortly after 8 pm.
Officers of the Besson Street CID responded and found Combie lying unconscious between two buildings in the complex.
He had been shot several times in the chest and head. Officers rushed him to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Less than an hour later, Mc Dowell was liming with two teenage friends near their Dan Kelly Village, Eastern Quarry, Laventille, homes when a car pull alongside them. Eyewitnesses told investigators the occupants of the
car drew guns and began shooting at the friends. All three were shot several times about the body before the car sped off.
They were rushed to the hospital where Mc Dowell died while undergoing emergency surgery.
His friends—Atiba Fredrick, 15, and Stephen Rock, 16 — were treated and remained warded at hospital in critical condition up to late yesterday.
Homicide detectives have listed both incidents as gang-related.
The murders pushed the toll for the year to three. The figure for 2012, according to statistics released by the Police Service’s Crime and Problem Analysis Department (CAPA) last week, was 377.
In an interview at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, yesterday, Combie’s mother, Alison Rodriguez, refuted claims by the police her son’s murder was gang-related. She said her son had been held by police several times in the past but claimed he was not a hardened criminal.
“He had a few drug matters before the court but he wasn’t a hardened criminal. No one could say he was involved in any robberies or had firearms or anything. He always tried to stay clear of all that,” Rodriguez said.
She said her son, who has a two-year-old daughter, was never involved in the gangs that operate in his community.
“I remember when Nelson Street and Duncan Street had their war recently some of those boys told him to pick a side but he tell them ‘no way’, he not getting into that and he will remain neutral,” Rodriguez said.
Last Thursday, Kevin Dover, 26, of Ninth Avenue, Malick, Barataria, became the country’s first murder victim for the year after a shooting near his home.
Two suspects in his murder were held by officers of the North Eastern Division Task Force (NEDTF), led by Insp Roger Alexander and Cpl Sunil Bharath, during an anti-crime exercise over the weekend.
They are expected to be charged if they are positively identified at identification parades later this week.
ASPs Ajith Persad and Forde and Insp Sahadeo Singh are assisting in the investigations into both murders.