Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Man gunned down outside Arima court
Fabien London’s life literally went down the drain yesterday after he became the second person in the T&T’s history to be murdered outside a courthouse. The killing has brought the murder toll to 153, 29 more than the same period last year. Around 9.50 am yesterday, shortly after appearing before an Arima magistrate, 46-year-old London, alias “Zultan”, was approached by a man who shot him eight times in the head and chest. London collapsed and died in the drain on Prince Street just outside the Republic Bank car park.
The killer was chased by Northern Division police. He ran into a nearby yard along Sorzano Street and tried to get rid of his gun after shooting at police who returned fire. The 24-year-old suspect was hit and taken to the Arima Health Facility where he is warded. His gun was found a few feet away. The shooting incident disrupted the court proceedings for the day. After the murder, head of the Northern Division, Snr Supt David Abraham, commended his officers for their swift action. Speaking at the Arima Police Station, a stone’s throw from the murder scene, Abraham said both the dead man and the suspect had matters in court for marijuana possession.
The officers also were praised by ACP Glenda Smith, who said they were protected by God since none of them was injured during the shootout. The senior officers said another suspect evaded capture but an arrest would be made soon. The killing, they said, was linked to the murder of Stephen St Hillaire, who was gunned down on Sunday. St Hillaire, of Jacobin Avenue, Maloney, was heading west along the Western Main Road, Carenage, around 7.30 am when he stopped at Glencoe to urinate. A car pulled up alongside him and someone inside shot him several times. He died on arrival at the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital, Cocorite.
Commenting on the brazen way London was killed, Smith said: “This shows that criminals have no respect for the court or the country.” Asked about increasing security around the courts, Smith said there was adequate security on a daily basis. She added that she was sending a signal to anyone with illegal motives coming near courthouses, especially Arima, that the police would be covert and overt in their tactics.
Also commenting on the issue of increased security was head of the Homicide Bureau, ACP Wayne Dick, who was at the scene. He said it would be inaccurate to say there would be any increased presence at the courthouse as the information regarding the shooting had only moments before reached acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams.
Speaking with the media shortly after identifying her brother’s body, Wendy London said London, the father of four, from Arouca, was the last child in their family and was a “beautiful person.”
Passersby were overheard saying: “People don’t care about God no more,” and “Gary Griffith would have plenty to say about that,” while one man was heard saying: “He is an old-school boss,” referring to London.