Last update: 05-Dec-2013 3:57 pm
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Gang war continues in east PoS
Gang violence in east Port-of-Spain continued yesterday with several early-morning shootings, including one on Independence Square, which left two men warded in hospital. In the latest shooting, around 11 am, Johnson Toppin, 33, of Erica Street, Laventille, was standing near the corner of George Street and Independence Square when a white car heading east, slowed down alongside him. Police said two of the occupants of the car drew guns and began shooting at Toppin, who attempted to hide behind his car which was parked nearby, but was shot once in the abdomen. Another man, identified as 23-year-old Sheldon Toussaint, of Lodge Place, East Dry River, who was riding his bicycle nearby was shot once in the right leg by a stray bullet. The car then sped off.
Besson Street Police arrived on the scene shortly after and took both men to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital. Toppin was warded in a serious condition up to late yesterday, while Toussaint was treated and discharged. Police said both men were not known to police and a motive for the shooting has not been determined. Two hours before the drive-by shooting, police were summoned to apartment complexes at Nelson and Duncan Streets in Port-of-Spain after residents complained of hearing sporadic gunshots in the community. When the officers arrived, they carried out a search of the area but did not find the gunmen or any victims. Investigators believe that the shootings were among rival gangs based in the east Port-of-Spain and may be related to the later shooting at Independence Square. Police presence in those areas have been increased and the situation is being monitored, one senior police officer said yesterday afternoon.
Meanwhile, 21 people are now in police custody after an anti-crime exercise in Port-of-Spain between Saturday night and yesterday morning. The exercise, which began at 6 pm and ended yesterday afternoon, was co-ordinated by ASP Ajith Persad of the Port-of-Spain CID and included Insp Mervyn Edwards, Cpl Anthony Williams and PC Bynoe. Among those detained are three men who were arrested along the Brian Lara Promenade after police found knifes on them. Five men were arrested and charged with robbery and larceny-related offences, five were arrested for drug possession and six were held on outstanding warrants for unpaid court fines. The rest were held on inquires in relation to recent burglaries and pickpocketing incidents. Persad and detectives of the Besson Street CID are probing the shootings.
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