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Murder toll surges to 181
For the year so far there have been 29 more murders than for the same period last year following two killings yesterday. The toll for the year is 181; the figure last year was 151 for the same period. In the first killing yesterday, 50-year-old Wilton France was shot dead by while plying his private car for hire along Laventille Road, near Lowlands. According to police reports, France, of Snake Valley, Laventille, was driving along the roadway at around 10.30 am when a gunman stepped into his path and opened fire. The attacker missed the first time, shattering the front windscreen. France then reportedly tried to escape through the back right passenger door, but was shot dead before he could get out.
Relatives on the scene said he was the father of 15 and sold DVDs and market goods as well to make a living. In the second murder some 30 minutes later, 23-year-old Robert Maynard, of Gurahoo Trace, Chase Village, Chaguanas, was shot dead. Senior Supt Johnnie Abraham told the T&T Guardian that Maynard was with Joshua Cabralis, 19, a cousin, at the back of Maynard’s house when two men ran towards them and fired at the men before returning to their car and speeding off. Maynard was shot seven times and was taken to the Freeport Health Centre, but reportedly died en route to the health facility. Cabralis was also shot but survived and was also taken to hospital for treatment. Lucille Waterman, 70, the grandmother of the murdered man, said she was inside, heard several gunshots and looked out and saw her grandson had been shot.
Family members could not understand why Maynard had been targeted, since he was not involved in any criminal activity. In an unrelated incident, a man who was shot dead over the weekend was yesterday identified as 26-year-old Xicolino Ferreira of Mango Alley, Laventille. At the Forensic Science Centre, St James, yesterday, relatives told the T&T Guardian that Ferreira worked at a pluck shop on Prince Street, Port-of-Spain, and was a friendly person who would talk to anyone. Police said Ferreira was shot dead around 10.20 pm on Saturday. The Inter-Agency Task Force responded to a report of a shooting along Mango Alley, Trou Macaque, and found Ferreira lying dead in the road with bullet wounds. He was put in the police vehicle and taken to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.