Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Teen slain on first day at new school
After his first official day at a technical school, a 16-year-old Laventille resident was shot dead as he made his way home yesterday afternoon. The teen’s murder occurred within hours of another in Laventille, in which a 32-year-old baker was killed during a robbery at his business. The murder toll stood at 256 up to late yesterday.
Karim Maxime, an electrical installation student from Eastern Quarry, Laventille, was shot more than a dozen times by two gunmen who ambushed him near the gates of the Laventille Technology and Continuing Education Centre. Moments after the shooting police arrived, led by Insp Sahadeo Singh, and arrested the two suspects in Beetham Gardens, which is opposite the trade school. The suspects, aged 22 and 24, were detained at the Besson Street Police Station and were being questioned by homicide detectives up to last night.
Homicide detectives have classified the shooting as gang-related and were bracing for reprisal attacks last night. Police believe the shooting was part of an ongoing turf war between rival gangs in Beetham and Laventille. Maxime was walking out of the centre towards the Eastern Main Road shortly after 2 pm when he was attacked by the two gunmen. Police said one of the men was armed with a sub-machine gun and the other a pistol. After shooting Maxime, they ran towards Beetham Gardens.
Maxime was pronounced dead on the scene and more than 25 spent 9 mm shells were found near his body. The incident was captured by CCTV cameras positioned outside the school, police said. When a news team from the T&T Guardian visited yesterday, residents of both communities stood on opposite sides of the Eastern Main Road and Priority Bus Route to catch a glimpse of the crime scene.
Heavily armed police were telling them to stay in their respective areas while some of the opposing factions exchanged obscenities at each other. A group of men were seen trying to run acrosss towards Beetham Gardens but turned around after spotting a group of police patrolling the area. One of Maxime’s relatives said: “This war going on a long time now. I would not come back here even if they pay me.”
Maxime’s father, Peter, explained that he and Karim’s mother had enrolled him in the school after he recently graduated from the Russell Latapy High School, Morvant. “He had too much free time on his hands so we send him to the school to learn the trade he always like,” Peter said. The elder Maxime said while he could not describe his son as an angel, “he didn’t deserve to die so.” “He was trying to better himself,” the senior Maxime said.
Police are also investigating the murder of Jason Butcher, who was shot dead behind the counter of his Laventille bakery yesterday morning. Shortly after 6 am, Butcher, the father of four, was working at his bakery at Old St Joseph Road, Laventille, when two armed men entered. They robbed Butcher of $1,000 and his BlackBerry cellphone, then shot him once in the head before running away. Butcher died on the spot. In an interview at his home yesterday, Butcher’s relatives described him as kind and hardworking.
“It unfair. He does wake up early every morning to sell in the bakery and look how they just rob him and kill him,” a female relative said. ASP Ajith Persad, Insps Brown and Maharaj are probing Butcher’s murder.
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