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Heat for Griffith
National Security Minister Gary Griffith came under fire again yesterday as three more murders rocked the country. His latest critic was deputy San Fernando mayor Junia Regrello, who called on him to stop the talking and put concrete measures in place to stem the tide of murders, after 51-year-old Trevlon “Mustapha” Joseph was gunned down in the heart of the city on Monday night. “Every day the Minister of National Security has a different line,” Regrello told the T&T Guardian at the crime scene.
“One day he is ‘not running away from anybody,’ next day he ‘has this thing under lockdown.’ “He needs to stop talking. People want action, because the streets are no longer safe. While he is not running away, the criminals are running away with crime. I mean, a mother has just lost her only child. I mean, this is scary.” Joseph, the father of three, was one of three men killed across the country as the murder toll rose to 383, a figure which has already surpassed last year’s total.
In San Fernando on Thursday, police said Joseph was entering a restaurant on the corners of Coffee and Drayton Streets to buy dinner around 9.30 pm when a gunman walked up behind him and shot him once in the head. The man then jogged along Drayton Street, where Joseph lived, and escaped. Witnesses said it was the third time the man had come looking for Joseph.
Police believe the shooting was ordered from inside the Golden Grove Prison, Arouca. Although Joseph was dubbed a “likeable fella” by neighbours, police said he had served time in prison for several larceny offences. Struggling to speak with reporters moments after the killing, the victim’s mother, Lydia Sargeant, 69, said she was asleep when the shooting took place and although she heard an explosion she did not think it was a gunshot.
“I go to my bed early, and I was home sleeping. It was only when I heard a girl come screaming that I knew something happened,” she said. Not only has she lost her only child, but Joseph’s children—Kristian, 14, Zan, 13, and Désirée, 12—are now fatherless. Salisha Young, one of Joseph’s former wives, said although they had separated he remained a dedicated father to his children.
“He is just a funny person. I am not seeing why somebody wanted to kill him. I don’t even know how to tell my children that. They have to graduate and he was coming to their graduation,” Young said. Also visiting the scene was San Fernando mayor Kazim Hosein, who said despite the killing crime was low in San Fernando and Joseph’s death was an unguarded moment. “I want everybody to be guarded, especially to parents, guard your children and be careful,” he added.
But Regrello was not so patient, saying he was unhappy with all the talk and little action coming from Griffith. (See Page 6). He said it was time something was done to eradicate crime, as criminals had citizens running scared.
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