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Young Mom Gunned down
Gunmen opened fire on a group of friends at Moruga early yesterday, killing a young mother of three and leaving another seriously wounded. Afisha Dyer, 21, of Samuel Cooper Trace, St Mary’s Village, died after being shot twice in the chest. Dyer’s neighbour Nikeisha Eliott, 33, was shot four times—in the right shoulder, chest and right hand. Three of her fingers were shattered by the bullets. She remained in a stable condition at the San Fernando General Hospital up to late yesterday.
Dyer’s three children—Kadeem, five; Triston, three; and one-year-old Ezekiel are now forced to grow up without their mother. It is even worse for them as Christmas draws near. The children sobbed uncontrollably when the Sunday Guardian visited the scene yesterday. Investigators said Dyer could have been killed over an upcoming court case with a relative. The matter involved one of her children.
A witness, who requested anonymity, said they were playing cards close to the roadside when a black Nissan Wingroad pulled up around 2 am, when three men came out with guns and started shooting. “About 20 people were playing cards and the gunmen started to shoot. When we saw the guns, everybody started to run,” the witness said. Dyer and Eliott, however, could not escape. Police recovered more than nine spent shells fired from a .9mm semi automatic revolver at the scene of the crime.
Dyer’s father Richard, who was asleep upstairs their home when the tragic incident occurred, said he heard the gunshots. “I woke up and watched outside. I hear them saying Afisha get shot. We got a sheet and put her on top of it. Then they put her in the car and rushed her to the hospital,” he recalled. He said the gunmen did not get any money. The gunmen then made their escape.
Police officers led by Senior Supt Cecil Santana, Insp Maynard, Sgt Ramdial, Sgt Don Gajadhar as well as detectives from the Princes Town and Barrackpore Task Force set up a dragnet and later intercepted the car. Two suspects of La Brea and South Oropouche were arrested.
Meanwhile, Eliott’s mother Yvette, who spent the morning with her at the hospital, said she often warned her daughter about playing cards outside. “I told her that her children getting big and it is about time she stopped. She never listened to me,” Yvette said. She explained that it was the second time that Eliott escaped with her life, as a few years ago she was severely beaten by a relative.
“It is time that she gives her life to Christ. She is living a third life,” Yvette said. Eliott has four children—Koreem, 18; Kenisha, 17; Kishanna, 14; and Kimora Grazette, aged two. Detectives led by Sgt Ramdial and including PC Mycoo, Bawah and Khadoo visited the scene. An autopsy is expected to be done on Dyer’s body tomorrow at the Forensic Science Centre in St James. Investigations are continuing.
National Security Minister
Don’t be fearful, be careful
Meanwhile, National Security Minister, Gary Griffith has called on the population to not be overly concerned with the recent spike in murders. Speaking at a children’s Christmas party in Laventille organised by the police force yesterday, Griffith said there was no need to be afraid. “I am asking the public; do not be fearful, be careful,” Griffith said. “We need to just be aware of our surroundings,” he said.
He said the National Operation Centre was there to help all the law agencies—Police, Defense Force, Strategic Services Agencies—to reduce crime. “There are major operations that are taking place, we are getting a lot of intelligence, roadblocks, patrols and we intend to build back that confidence,” he said. He said the NOC would co-ordinate all the agencies with real-time information.
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