One of the pieces in the Carnival tableau will fall into place tonight, Fantastic Friday, when this year’s International Soca Monarch is crowned at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
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Gunmen carry out well-planned hit: 3 men shot in heads, backs
Police in south Trinidad were kept busy on Sunday as four men were killed in two separate incidents, with three victims being slain in one of the attacks, taking the murder toll for the year to 122. In one of the incidents, La Romaine brothers Randy and Maurice Leshmore, 21 and 26, and their brother-in-law Kwasi Vincent, 47, were shot dead by three gunmen who ambushed them during a lime. Police said as Randy and Kwasi lay on the cold concrete at the family’s Pond Street home, they hugged each other before the gunmen shot them several times in their heads and backs. Maurice tried to escape but one of the gunmen chased him through a track and shot him in the back.
Only 27-year-old Kevin Williams managed to escape although he was shot in the thigh. He was warded in a stable condition at the San Fernando General Hospital yesterday. The men were all liming at an apartment at the back of Nana’s parlour when the gunmen broke through a galvanise fence in the backyard. They ordered an 18-year-old neighbour to kneel on the ground before they ambushed the men, who were sitting in the yard. Police believe the men ordered the brothers to lie on the ground and shot them, while another gunman fired shots at Vincent and Williams.
Police, led by ASP Williams, Insp Gajadhar and Sgt Dhilpaul, found more than eight spent shells at the scene. Barely able to speak at the crime scene, Maurice’s common-law-wife, Sarah Arjoon, was inconsolable after arriving earlier to find her relatives on the ground gasping for breath. Arjoon, who is also Vincent’s sister, lost her father, Harry Arjoon, in a car accident on February 3.
With tears streaming down her cheeks, she said Maurice, who sometimes stayed at his father’s home, called her shortly after 9 pm and said he was coming to meet her but she told him it was too late and he should stay with relatives. “About ten minutes after, my nephew came and asked me if I heard the gunshots. I said ‘shut your mouth, that is not our business,’” she recalled.
“I was home getting ready to sleep and it was only when my cousin started to talk, saying that three men came through the galvanise and shot Kwasi, it was then I knew what had happened.
“A little while after they called me and said call Wendy (Leshmore’s sister) because Dillon got shot too. “Dillon and Kwasi were breathing when I reached there. They couldn’t talk. They couldn’t move and they were lying face down on the ground breathing hard. They could not have survived because there was so much blood. Junior was already dead.”
For Wendy Leshmore, her brothers’ deaths came a few years after losing her mother Angela Leshmore to illness. “What will I do now? My mother gone, my brothers gone. Is just me alone now,” Wendy said. A 31-year-old relative said some people have labelled the area as a drug block but he said no one knows the reason for the killing. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said: “When we came outside, we saw those two fellas lying down on the ground, hugging up one another. “I watched them take their last breath, I saw the last piece of life come out of them. They died with their eyes open, and the way one of them died, I feel like they knew one of the killers because his eyes opened up real big in his head. It was like he was in shock.” The relative said several calls were made for an ambulance but it took more than an hour to arrive. He said even when police came Vincent was still alive and he believed if the ambulance had come earlier there could have been fewer deaths.