The drive-by shooting in Laventille on Sunday night that claimed the life of three friends, including a 15-year-old boy, has being described as a “message” to other people in an ongoing gang dispute in the area.
The three were not believed to be targets but were sacrificial lambs in the criminal world, a resident said.
The victims were identified as Saleem Peters, 15; Shermarke Wickham, 31 and Damian Granger, 37, all of Upper Eastern Quarry. A fourth person, a 40-year-old man, was shot on one of his legs.
According to a police report, at about 11 pm a group of men was liming by Dasheen Shop when a black car drove up to them and a gunman came out before firing several shots at the group.
The gunman escaped in the same vehicle, heading south along Eastern Quarry Road.
Wickham was pronounced dead on the scene while the two other victims died at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital.
Speaking to the Guardian Media yesterday a resident in the area, who wished not to be identified, said the shooting meant for the people in the area.
“Listen those types of shootings where people are shot at random and especially to their backs are coded as messages...a message for who, for what and why, we don’t know but they are messages meaning a body for a body but them fellas who get shoot were not bad guys and were not in any gangs for sure,” the resident said.
At the Forensic Science Centre in St James, Granger’s sister, Terri Ann said her brother was waiting on a friend, who was running late to go to a party.
“He worked. He was a painter... He is a party boy. He can’t be no bad man. Cause he always out there in every boat ride and party. It is party he was going. “
Terri Ann said she knew the teenager, a student of Servol, well and had known him to sell avocados.
“He was going to school, yes, but used to sell avocados because he wanted to save up money to buy a car.”
“But you see them three who dead there, you see that rain that fall last night (Sunday) it means the earth crying for them and justice and karma will be coming. I am a praying woman, and I eh gonna lie, allyuh go have more news to read again. Because them there didn’t deserve that,” she added.
Wickham’s sister, Kizzy said she was lying in her bed when she heard the gunshots but didn’t know that it was her brother got killed.
She described him as the “old people champion” in the neighbourhood.
“The old people had loved him and I can put my head on a block and say he wasn’t in nothing...if he was in that kind of gangster life I would have band my belly and say so. But he was the type of person who did things for the old people around him with the kindness of his heart. If they want him to go in the grocery he would go...anything they want him to do he would do,” Kizzy said.
Peters relatives who were also at forensics declined to give any comment to the media.
ASP Subero, Sgt Burris, Sgt Knott of the Besson Street CID and PC Jaimungal of the Crime Scene Investigations Unit were among the officers who visited the crime scene.