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Teen among three killed in drive-by shooting
An All Fours match in central Trinidad ended bloody early yesterday after three men, among them a soldier, were shot dead in a drive-by shooting while standing on the side of the road. The victims, police said, were standing opposite the Inshan Ali Park, Polo Ground Road, Preysal, around 3.25 am when the incident occurred.
The three men have been identified as Rawle Fletcher, 34, a lance corporal of the Defence Force; Mitra Maharaj, 46, a businessman of Trent Drive, Orchard Gardens, Chaguanas; and Anil Diram, 19, a NESC student of Grand Couva. Fletcher lived in Preysal.
According to Senior Superintendent Peter Reyes, the men were gunned down by men driving a red Kia Sportage. Reyes said checks with the licensing department revealed that the registration number on the vehicle was bogus. He said the police are working on several leads. He also said police investigators are confident they will solve the case. He also appealed to anyone with information to contact the police.
At Fletcher’s home yesterday, his mother, Margaret, said she wanted justice. She said her son should not have died in such a horrible manner. “I am appealing with the criminals to stop killing innocent people.” The soldier’s sister, Valerie Fletcher, said her brother left his home with Mitra Maharaj about ten minutes before the incident to attend the All Fours competition. She said her brother was the father of three.
Fletcher had two daughters ages 12 and 10; and a son aged 13. They lived with the victim’s mother. “The crime situation is a disgrace. The country is too small to not find the criminals. My mother is in a disheartened position. Christmas done for us and for a long time to come,” Valerie said. She said her brother was a progressive person and was in the process of opening a rum shop downstairs his home.
A statement yesterday from the Defence Force said Fletcher enlisted with the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment on August 9, 2004. He was attached to the Warrant Officers and Senior Rates Mess at the Defence Force Headquarters, Chaguaramas. Also at Diram’s home yesterday his bereaved mother, Molly Diram, said her son studied air-conditioning at NESC in Couva.
She described him as model child who liked playing cards. Relatives said there would be no Christmas for this year. His stepfather Steve Bahaw said the family would no longer celebrate Christmas and may have a funeral on Christmas Day instead. “This was the worst I have ever seen. Anil wanted to be a technician,” he said.
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