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Slain soldier got death threats
Regiment sources close to murdered Lance Corporal Rawle Fletcher yesterday said he was failed by the organisation which he had worked tirelessly for over the past nine years of his life. The sources claimed that Fletcher, who was gunned down on Sunday, had reported to his superiors that his life had been threatened and he believed it was connected to a case in which he had assisted authorities in removing illegal weapons off the street. His home had also been shot at following the threats.
However, the sources said Fletcher was only afforded minimal protection after voicing concerns for his safety. Contacted yesterday, Civil Military Affairs Officer of the Defence Force, Major Al Alexander, confirmed Fletcher’s home was shot at and that his life was threatened. He added that the reports were months old and not as recent as the military source suggested. Alexander said Fletcher reported the incidents to them in August, adding he believed the reports and his killing were not related.
Also contacted yesterday, a relative of Fletcher confirmed Fletcher had complained of his life being threatened. The relative could not say when that happened. Fletcher, 34, National Energy Skills Centre (NESC) student Anil Diram, 19, and businessman Mitra Maharaj, 46, were all shot dead early Sunday morning near Inshan Ali Park, Polo Grounds, Preysal, Couva.
Fletcher was attending an all fours single table card competition when around 3.25 am a vehicle stopped and a man opened fire from inside the vehicle. Shortly after, another man came out the vehicle and continued shooting at Fletcher. Fletcher was on sick leave from the Regiment after injuring one of his hands while playing football. In a release on Sunday, Alexander said Fletcher was stationed at the Warrant Officers and Senior Rates Mess at the Defence Force Headquarters, Chaguaramas.
In another release issued yesterday, Alexander said Fletcher would be buried on Friday under full military rites following a church ceremony at the Isaiah Temple Spiritual Baptist Church, Polo Grounds, Preysal, Couva. The country’s murder toll now stands at 398.
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