Dawson Pancham woke up at 5.30 am yesterday to find two feet of water in his Endeavour home. His stove was floating on its side in the kitchen and his washing machine, living room set and other fur
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Las Lomas in grief as Pastor Kitty shoots brother, kills self
The rural farming village of Las Lomas was left in a mixed state of shock and grief after one of its most famous residents Evangelical pastor Vishnu “Kitty” Lutchmansingh embarked on a murderous rampage which ended with him taking his own life.
Lutchmansingh, 54, who shot to fame in 2003 with claims of his alleged inheritance of a billion dollar fortune before he was eventually indicted in an embezzlement scam, began his crazed spree of violence by fatally shooting his younger brother before plowing his car into his nephew and then returning home where he set his house on fire with him inside.
While homicide detectives had not established a clear motive for the incident up to late yesterday, they were said to be working on the theory that it stemmed from an ongoing land dispute between Lutchmansingh and his nine siblings. However, this theory was disputed by some members of the Lutchmansingh family who claimed no knowledge of a feud between the brothers. “They was close. I don’t care who wrong or right. I love them both,” their sobbing sister, who asked to remain unidentified, said while shaking her head in disbelief.
Other relatives who were on the scenes of the murder/suicide huddled together as they consoled each other and refused to comment to media personnel. According to police reports, shortly after 10 am Lutchmansingh’s 44-year-old brother Kishan and his three friends went to his garden near to his David Toby Trace, Chin Chin Road, Cunupia, home. The men heard several gunshots and when they checked saw Lutchmansingh shooting at the tyres and windshield of Kishan’s silver Nissan Almera.
The three men ran away leaving Kishan behind. Lutchmansingh reportedly walked up to his brother and shot him once in the head. As he collapsed in the field, Lutchmansingh shot him several times in his chest. Lutchmansingh then calmly returned to his car and began the 15 minute drive to his house at Savary Extension Road, Las Lomas No 1. On his return journey, Lutchmansingh saw his sister’s son Timothy Janitan, also of David Toby Trace, Cunupia, walking towards his home.
He reportedly sped up on seeing Janitan and attempted to plough his Nissan Wingroad station wagon into him. Janitan tried to move from the path of the car by jumping into a drain at the side of the road. However, he still struck and sustained serious leg injuries. Lutchmansingh then continued on his journey home. Janitan was taken to the Chaguanas Health Facility where he was treated.
Police said shortly before reaching his home, Lutchmansingh crashed the vehicle into a ditch in front of a metal boom which blocks entry into the property. Lutchmansingh then went inside his 8 x12 metre wooden single story house, perched on a scenic hill overlooking a man-made lake left over from an abandoned quarrying operation in the area. The pastor’s neighbours contacted police shortly after when they noticed his house was on fire.
By the time fire officers and tenders from the Chaguanas Fire Station navigated their way through the pothole infested road which leads to Lutchmansingh’s property, the roof had already collapsed and the house in flames. When a news team from the T&T Guardian visited Lutchmansingh’s property around midday yesterday, police and fire officers were seen scouring the smoldering ruins of his house for clues and evidence.
Fire officers found Lutchmansingh’s remains which were burnt beyond recognition under a pile of rubble. Some of the metal components of Lutchmansingh’s licenced Heckler & Koch 9 mm pistol, the weapon police believe he used to murder Kishan with, withstood the inferno and were found under his body. Crime scene investigators remained on the scene up to late yesterday as they attempted to locate a shotgun, which they said was also listed on Lutchmansingh’s firearm users licence.
Investigators said because of the location where gun was found, Lutchmansingh might have shot himself after setting the house on fire. However, they said they would wait until an post mortem is performed on his body at the Forensic Science Centre in St James today to confirm their suspicions.
In 2002, Lutchmansingh rose to fame after he wrote and published a three-part book series titled From Poverty to Prosperity. He operated Faith Sanctuary Family Ministries at the Old Southern Main Road in Cunupia, before being forced to relocate to Harmony Hall, Reform Village, Marabella due to a legal battle over ownership of the original parcel of land the church was on.
Lutchmansingh claimed that he was the sole beneficiary of the multi-billion dollar will of United States railroad engineer Buford B Keaton who died in Kentucky, in 1999. Several years later he was slapped with over 80 fraud charges for a number of offences including uttering forged documents and obtaining money by false pretences.
In March 2012, Senior Magistrate Indra Ramoo-Haynes committed Lutchmansingh to stand trial in the San Fernando High Court for defrauding Nutrimix executive Shaheed Mohammed of $3 million. He was also before Deputy Chief Magistrate Rajendra Rambacahan for allegedly swindling $1.1 million from four other businessmen from south Trinidad. Lutchmansingh was alleged to have borrowed the money from businessmen and promised to repay the sums at exorbitant rates of interest, using his claimed inheritance.
Insp Jackman, Sgt Figaro, Cpls Mohammed and Ramsaran, of the Central Division and Homicide Bureau are continuing investigations into his murder.