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Collateral damage in Laventille triple murder

Published: 
Sunday, June 10, 2018
Teenager Joshua James

A schoolboy who was playing a video game at his home, a man who was celebrating a friend’s birthday, and another man who took a chance to urinate in a track, were all shot dead when gunmen opened fire in Laventille on Friday night.

Dead are 16-year-old Joshua James, 38-year-old Carlos Abraham, and 49-year-old Curtis Hepburn. This brings to 244 the number of the people murdered so far for the year.

The trio are believed to be collateral damage in an ongoing gang war in the area.

Residents of Erica Street, Laventille, were emotionally distraught by the triple murder yesterday, describing the death of the “innocent” trio as “senseless and unnecessary.”

“Alllyuh in a war and allyuh don’t know who allyuh fighting against? Allyuh in a war and don’t know who are the targets?” questioned an Erica Street resident who preferred to remain anonymous.

According to reports, around 10.45 pm on Friday a car pulled up at the corner of Erica Street and the Old St Joseph Road, gunmen exited and opened fire.

James was in the yard of his family’s home playing a video game when he was shot.

He died on the spot.

The 16-year-old was a student of the nearby Success Laventille Secondary School and an aspiring martial artist.

Minister in the Education Ministry Lovell Francis yesterday tweeted his condolences.

“Condolences to the students and staff of Success Laventille Secondary on the loss of another young life. This must end,” he stated.

Abraham, on the other hand, decided to spend some time liming near the Liberty Bar to celebrate the birthday of a friend from the area.

He was shot when he tried to run when the gunfire started.

He died on the spot.

Abraham was a taxi-driver in the area who used to transport school children.

A neighbour who said Abraham was a son to her lamented his death.

“Carlos is a community person, he was a youth officer in our community. He didn’t deserve to die like this,” Alana Eddy said.

Abraham is the father of a five-year-old daughter named Destiny.

Destiny is scheduled to start primary school in the upcoming school year.

“Oh God, we have to stop this,” Eddy cried.

The third victim was Hepburn.

Hepburn was shot while urinating in a track between James’ home and the Liberty Bar.

He was rushed to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital but eventually succumbed to his injuries.

His father-in-law, Charles Small Maynard, said Hepburn did not deserve this death.

“He had no right to die like this, he was a good, hard-working man,” Maynard said.

“My daughter in a mess because he was supposed to come back and meet her to go down to We Beat and the next thing she heard is he get shot. Why is it that we have to be suffering this way?

“I don’t get emotional but you see right now, I have to take care of my daughter because she is in a mess.”

When the Sunday Guardian visited the area yesterday, residents were seen consoling each other.

Investigations are continuing into the deaths.

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