With the murder rate for this year already exceeding last year’s toll, National Security Minister Edmund Dillon says more will be done to reduce the incidence of murder in the country.
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Gunmen jump man on way to peace meeting
A man seeking to make peace in an ongoing feud was killed in Santa Cruz yesterday as the murder toll rose to 102 people for the year. The latest victim to die by the gun was 29-year-old Jeffon “Cash” Jordan, whose two attackers fired at him 13 times as he made his way to what was supposed to have been a peace meeting. According to relatives, Jordan, a father of three — two girls and one boy, the eldest five and youngest two months — went to Upper Bass Street, Santa Cruz, around 8 am yesterday to try to resolve an issue he had with men from the area last week. Jordan’s sister told the T&T Guardian her brother was telephoned by men he had had an altercation with last week. The men told him they wanted to bury the hatchet. But police said around 8.30 am as he made his way to the meeting, two masked men approached Jordan and opened fire on him, killing him instantly. At the scene yesterday, police said Jordan was known to them, while residents were heard saying he was often seen brandishing his illegal firearm for all to see and would “terrorise people.” An unidentified man stood near the police caution tape speaking to Jordan’s lifeless body and saying that he “looked for it.” At his Cocoa Road, Upper Santa Cruz, home, Jordan’s mother offered no comment to the media as family members began gathering to lend some support.
Shift in pattern
In a telephone interview with the T&T Guardian yesterday, deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Glen Hackett expressed concerned about the increasing murders toll, noting it started off on the heels of “inordinate murders” at the end of 2013. He said the murders were at one point concentrated to two divisions, Port-of-Spain and Northern, but there was a shift in this pattern and murders were now being recorded in divisions outside of the “traditional areas.” “We have effectively controlled the murder rate in four areas because of the interdiction result of road checks and roadblocks. We have recovered so far over 1,000 rounds of ammunition and 125 firearms,” Hackett said. He added that the police have intensified their efforts with a view to curbing the trend, however, as they were mindful of the trauma that murders have on the victims’ relatives. He said they were using all their resources to make the country safer.
Jordan’s killing took the weekend toll to six. Around 2.30 pm on Saturday, Ancil Greene, 25, of Upper Sixth Avenue, Barataria, was killed at his home. Police said two masked, armed men stormed into Greene’s home and enquired about his whereabouts. Police said one of the assailants placed a gun to the head of Greene’s father and ordered him to call his son. When Greene arrived some 20 minutes later, the gunmen shot him in front his parents. About three hours later, Sean Nurse, 34, of Pt Pleasant Park, Laventille, was shot dead while liming with a group of friends. Police said around 5.30 pm, Emanuel McKenzie, 17, of Upper Laventille Road, Laventille, and Akim Phillips, 16, of Mulrain Trace, Laventille, were with Nurse near the Laventille Health Centre, Laventille Road, when a vehicle approached.
The occupants opened fire on the group before escaping. Nurse was shot several times in the chest and was pronounced dead on arrival at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital. Sometime later, police said Stephen Mannette, 52, of Despers Drive, off Laventille Road, Laventille, was standing in the roadway near his home when residents of the area heard several gunshots. When they checked they found Mannette in a pool of blood. On Sunday around 3.30 am, police said Devanand Bholai, 40, was at his Biche Village home with his family, when they were awakened by loud noises from outside. Two armed men then forced their way inside and ordered everyone into the living room, where they robbed them. As the men were leaving, however, one of them shot Bholai in his upper body and head in front of his relatives, killing him instantly. And around 6.30 pm, residents of Poinsettia Drive, Morvant, heard several gunshots. When they checked they found Seco Hope, 30, lying on the roadway. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Eric Williams Medical Science Complex, Mt Hope.