With death staring a San Fernando family in the eyes, a seven-year-old boy pushed his three-year-old brother on the floor and used his body as a shield as a gunman murdered his stepfather and injured his mother on Sunday night.
When a neighbour rushed to the Nissan Bluebird sedan where Ryan Alexander, 27 and his common-law wife Andrea Yusuff lay bleeding, they found the boys petrified in the back seat.
Reports stated that around 11 pm, the family was sitting in the car which was parked outside Yusuff’s relative’s home in Tarodale Hills, Ste Madeleine.
Alexander was behind the steering wheel and Yusuff was in the front passenger’s seat.
The boys were seated in the back when it was believed that a gunman came to the side of the car and shot Alexander and Yusuff several times.
A neighbour told Guardian Media that after hearing the shots, he went out to the car and took the children out. With minor cuts on their bodies, they were taken inside their relatives’ home.
Alexander and Yusuff were taken out of their car and placed in her father’s car. They were taken to the San Fernando General Hospital where Alexander died a short time later.
Yusuff remained warded in a stable condition yesterday.
It was probably the most horrible Mother’s Day for Alexander’s mother Shamatee Bridgelal, who was said to be inconsolable up to yesterday.
Speaking at the family’s home at Rushworth Street, San Fernando, yesterday, Alexander’s elder brother Ronnie said the victim took his mother to the supermarket yesterday and they returned to cook a meal together.
Ronnie said the family had just gone to Yusuff family’s home for a gathering and was about to return when the killer struck.
“She (Yusuff) was only asking if Ryan died. These two were sweethearts, they had really loved each other. They were together since he was in form three in Pleasantville Junior Secondary. They had their ups and downs, but they always pulled through,” Ronnie said.
He said Alexander worked at a bar in Princes Town where he operated a roulette machine. He said his brother and Yusuff did not have enemies nor did they tell of any threats to their lives.
Up to midday yesterday, relatives had not broken the news of Alexander’s death to Yusuff as they were not sure how to let her know that her love of eight years had perished. Ronnie said that while the children were traumatised by the attack, the younger believes that his father is asleep.
Homicide investigators said were yet to establish a motive for the attack, saying that all Alexander had on his record was two old charges for small possessions of marijuana. Other than that, he appeared to be lawful.