South Oropouche mother of six Emily Cedeno was looking forward to one of her best Christmases this year with her youngest son, 24-year-old Brian Cedeno, expected to marry his pregnant girlfriend three days before Christmas.
Instead, she is planning his funeral after he was fatally shot outside his cousin's house a stone's throw from their home at Ralph Narine Trace, South Oropouche.
Around 9.30 pm on Tuesday, Cedeno was liming with his cousin and other people when a van stopped in front of the house and several shots were fired. Cedeno was hit in his right eye, neck and leg.
Her eyes red and swollen from crying, Cedeno's mother recalled that she was at home when she heard loud explosions and someone shouted that her son had been shot.
"It is so sad. I tried to pick him up to carry him to the hospital, but the police and them say I had to leave him. I didn’t want to leave him. Last breath come out...and that was it," she said.
She said they were cooking dumplings and manicou at the cousin's house and she had pleaded with her son to come home because she had a strange feeling.
"I begged him to come home and stay inside, not to go outside. I found the place was too calm. I got a yucky feeling in my stomach. He said, 'Ma I am coming just now'. He kept telling me he’s coming just now," she recalled
The day before, Cedeno got into an altercation with relatives when he defended his cousin who was involved in a dispute over money. Following that incident, their house was pelted with bottles and they called the police. Cedeno also pelted the relative's house with bottles on Tuesday.
"He was such a loving child. Anything you ask him to do, he would do it," she said. "He was a child who did not like to fight and quarrel."
Cedeno, who did roof and construction work, had planned to marry his 20-year-old pregnant girlfriend before Christmas.
"He wouldn’t get to see he or she...They should not have killed him, he did not deserve that."
The grieving mother expressed concern about the high rate of violence and crime in the country
"The youths need to check themselves. Too many youths are on this crime scene. They are not taking time to think about what they are doing. They do not care who dead. They are just acting, who not dead badly wounded. But at the end of the day, as the Bible said we are coming to the end of times soon," she said.
An autopsy is expected to be done soon at the Forensic Science Centre, Port of Spain. Officers from the Homicide Bureau of Investigations Region 3 are investigating.