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Two men gunned down; toll now 183
With the killing of two men in Diego Martin and San Juan on Wednesday night, the murder toll has now reached 183 for the year. The corresponding figure last year was 154. In the first incident, police said 29-year-old Kevin Joseph, of North West Drive, Patna Village, Diego Martin, was liming with friends near the Patna Village Recreation Ground around 10.30 pm when they were approached by five men, all dressed in black. They reportedly told the friends “allyuh go dead tonight,” before opening fire. The attackers then ran off. Joseph died at the scene. His friends—Adrian James, 27, and Jerrol Ottley, 21—were rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds. They remained warded in a serious condition at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital last night.
Police from the Western Division and the Homicide Bureau—including ASP Patterson, Insp Thomas, Sgt Perry and Cpl Beckles—visited the scene. Joseph’s father, Lincoln Mc Millan, said yesterday his son was killed because of the company he kept. Mc Millan, who spoke to the media at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, said his son did upholstery for a living and was the father of a six-year-old boy. He recalled hearing gunshots while watching his favourite programme, Crime Watch, and said when Joseph’s mother tried to reach him his cellphone went unanswered. Some time later, one of Joseph’s friends called to say he had been killed. About an hour later, Josiah St Hill, 19, was hit by a stray bullet on his way home from church. A Spiritual Baptist who worked as a security officer, St Hill was walking along JoJo Lane, San Juan, when he was shot in the back as two warring gangs were shooting at each other, police said. Relatives of St Hill said doctors at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, told them he had bled to death within minutes of being shot. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Police: No policy in place
Contacted for a comment yesterday on the Police Service escorting firefighters into crime-riddled areas, public information officer ASP Joanne Archie said no policy existed. She added that from time-to-time police were asked for protection in certain places but believed that in emergency cases certain initiatives would be taken.