Despite leaving a miserable marriage, becoming an online ghost and filing for a protection order, Naiee Singh became another victim of domestic violence when she was shot dead by her estranged husband, who then took his own life.
It was a horror story that came to life for relatives who came to Venture Credit Union in Couva where Naiee worked, to see her body lying on the ground.
Mere inches away, her husband Roger Singh, a former NESC instructor, laid dead.
According to a friend, Singh, 33, stalked and terrorised Naiee, 31, for months after she left their home in Balmain, Couva about a year ago. Afraid, she changed her mobile number and deleted all social media accounts. She was staying with her parents in Esperance.
Witnesses said Singh parked his black Mitsubishi Sportero at a mall carpark along Noel Street, obliquely opposite the credit union.
He purchased a newspaper from a nearby shop and knowing that Naiee would usually park at the Ramsingh building on her way to work, he waited across the street at the Couva Metro Hotel.
Police said it was 7.58 am when Ramsingh parked her car and was about to walk to work when Singh approached. After a short struggle, he ended her life with two gunshots. She fell to the ground and he shot himself.
Naiee’s relatives went to the scene but declined to comment. Her brother was heard lamenting how his sister was “gunned down on the street like a dog.”
He was also shocked at how easy it was for Singh, whom he described “normal”, to get a gun.
Christa Prevatt, a friend, said that while she got no complaint of physical violence, Naiee suffered years of emotional abuse. Prevatt said Naiee was constantly denigrated for who she was and decided to take the brave step of leaving her decade-old relationship. Despite having the support of her family, friends and colleagues, Prevatt said Naiee was constantly tormented by Singh. And when he thought he was not getting to her, he would attack her family, saying vile things to her mother.
“The torment got so much so that Naiee had to exclude activities like exercises from her life. He was badgering her on social media and the phone. She had to change her number. She got the restraining order. I want the leaders to understand that we do not need a restraining order. We need people who display these types of mental illness to be restrained. We realise they are not good to themselves and even worse to the people who are close to them because families are torn apart. For all the women and men out there who are hurting from some kind of separation, seek help. This is not an endpoint. Life goes on even if someone tries to move away from you,” Prevatt said.
CEO of Venture Credit Union, Ramesh Lutchman said staff and management were traumatised by the murder.
As such, the branch was closed for the day and counselling was being organised.
“We are in support of each other and we are very shocked. She worked in the loans department as an administrative officer. Some of them (employees) were close to where it happened. They too had just come out of their vehicles and were heading to work. She was lovely and she had the love of all the staff. She was a hard-working, dedicated and loyal staff who we will miss tremendously,” Lutchman said.
As undertakers left with the bodies, Naiee’s colleagues lined the road singing the hymn, “What a Friend We Have In Jesus”.