Even as police continue to probe the murders of four siblings at their Heights of Guanapo, Arima home, the children’s mother claims she does not know why the family was targeted, while another relative is calling for justice for the family.
The siblings, Faith Peterkin, 10, Arianna Peterkin, 14, Shane Peterkin, 17, and Tiffany Peterkin, 19, were gunned down at their Gravel Road, La Retreat Extension home around 12.25 am on Thursday.
Five other relatives were wounded in the attack.
In an interview with another media house yesterday, Aneesa Mohammed, the mother of the Peterkin siblings, recalled part of the ordeal.
“When I peep in the girls’ room I just run outside because I didn’t see nobody moving. Shinika was the only one who didn’t die and that’s because the gun jammed,” she said.
Mohammed lamented that she did not know what provoked the attack, as her son, Shane, was not involved in any criminal activity.
“My child didn’t deserve this you know,” she said.
Mohammed said despite the grief, she took some solace in the fact that they had a last interaction in conversation over a meal of sada roti and fried sausages before the attack.
Guardian Media visited the community again yesterday, where a quiet, gloomy atmosphere prevailed.
The family’s house and several others in the neighbourhood were locked up. The only signs of life at the house were pet dogs along with a few chickens and ducks that were reared by the family.
A relative, who lives near the Peterkin home, said she and her family had a hard time sleeping in the aftermath of the murders, even as police vehicles were parked in nearby tracks keeping watch into the early hours of yesterday.
“In a way, I felt a little safe because a jeep parked down here. I scared to sleep in my house. Whole night me and my husband up, he held a cutlass because we afraid they come back. We don’t know who do it. We don’t even have an idea of who do it,” she said.
The relative said two of her children were also wounded in the attack and they underwent emergency surgery on Thursday.
The relative also dismissed claims by some social media users that the murders were in retaliation over the robbery and assault of a man in the area.
She contended that Shane Peterkin had a passion for music and assisted his father in rearing livestock.
“Shane would always be on the computer. He would help his father with the cow, rake up the yard. He never used to be in any gang thing. His only friends were his brother. That child was saving money to get his driver’s licence,” she said.
The relative said Shane was gifted two computer monitors about three days before his murder.
She said the eldest of the siblings, Tiffany, also kept to herself and did not meddle in anything illegal.
Commenting on the lack of activity in the neighbourhood yesterday, the relative said most of their neighbours had moved out in the wake of the attack, as they were fearful for their own safety. She added that the residents who remained did not want to venture outdoors even during the daytime for fear of the gunmen returning.
“The whole neighbourhood move out. Everybody gone. Everybody leave their things and gone after this killing,” she said.
“You see this killing with these four children that the whole neighbourhood raised, they left. The whole neighbourhood know them children since they were babies.”
The relative described the murders as heartless and said she hoped the killers would be brought to justice for their crimes.
One resident, who ventured out to a parlour further down La Retreat Extension, said she heard the sound of the gunfire early on Thursday morning. She said it was a deeply unsettling experience and said she wanted to leave the neighbourhood but admitted she did not have the finances to do so.
“Nobody wants their children to be in an environment like this, where you have to be worrying about them at every hour of the day. It’s not a nice feeling but we have to find a way to make it work,” she said.
While on the scene, a police SUV from the Northern Division Emergency Response Patrol slowly drove through the dirt tracks connecting the neighbourhood.
The vehicle drove into the open yard of the Peterkin family and turned into a narrow track. The officers got out briefly to look around the neighbourhood and got back in before driving off.
Investigators said police from the Homicide Bureau of Investigations Region II were following several leads.
One officer said the police were continuing to treat the murders with the “utmost seriousness.”