Last update: 08-Dec-2013 4:55 am
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Three dead after gang shootings
A string of gang-related shootings in Diego Martin and Laventille on Tuesday night has left three men dead and two others hospitalised. The murders raised the count for the year to 286. In the latest incidents, neighbours Lodaley Julius, 28, and Brad Williams, 23, were shot dead in separate shootings on Quarry Street, Diego Martin.
The shootings took place within half-an-hour and within walking distance of each other. Homicide detectives have ruled the shootings were connected and were possibly committed by the same gunmen. Shortly after 10 pm Williams was driving along Quarry Street with two neighbours when their car was stopped by two gunmen. Police said without warning the gunmen began shooting at the car, then ran off.
Neighbours went to the assistance of the three men and took them to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital. Williams was shot several times in the head and chest and was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at hospital. His neighbours, who were identified as Jamal Gabriel, 23, and Julio Cumberbatch, 20, were both warded in stable condition, up to yesterday. Gabriel was shot in the shoulder and back while Cumberbatch was shot in the lower back.
Less than a half an-hour later, detectives on the scene of Williams’ murder heard several gunshots. While searching the area, they found Julius in front of his girlfriend’s house on Gookool Street. Julius was behind the wheel of his car and had gunshot wounds to his head. He died on the scene. Crime scene investigators said several spent 12-gauge shotgun cartridges and .38 calibre shells were found on both scenes leading them to believe the two neighbours were killed by the same men.
Police said both men were known to police and were members of a gang in their community. However, when a news team from the T&T Guardian interviewed their relatives at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, yesterday, they denied the police claims. Both families spoke briefly and insisted their relatives were not criminals. Julius’ sister Nika Augustine described her brother as kind and loving man. “As far as I know, he was not in anything,” Augustine said.
In the Laventille incident, Sheldon Thompson,31, of Snake Valley, Picton Road was shot dead in front of his home on Tuesday evening. Police said around 5 pm Thompson got into his Nissan B13. Before he could start the car, a man walked up to the car and shot him several times in the head. Senior Supt John Daniel and detectives of the Region One Homicide Bureau are probing the murders.
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