The brazenness of the country’s gangsters claimed another life just metres away from a police base on Saturday night.
Twenty-three-year-old Christian Sansavoir was shot dead a stone’s throw away from the Duncan Street Police Post.
His killing is the third in a week coming out of the ongoing gang rivalry said to be between the Sixx and Seven gangs.
Police reported that around 7.30 pm on Saturday, Sansavoir was with five others liming between building 47 and 49 Duncan Street when gunmen walked up to them and opened fire. The killers then got back into a waiting white Nissan X-trail parked opposite the Duncan Street Police Post and escaped. The SUV was later found abandoned on Clifton Street near St Paul Street.
Police recovered one rifle magazine with 28 rounds of 5.56 ammunition and 55 spent 5.56 rounds at the scene. Police have labelled the killing as gang-related although they have not identified Sansavoir as being associated with any gang.
His killing came a day after another man with no gang affiliation, Jason Alexander, was murdered near the Besson Street Police Station and Riverside Plaza which houses the Region I Homicide Bureau. Alexander was shot dead around 8 am on Friday when two men came out of a black BMW on St Paul Street near Rodney Street and opened fire. Those who were around ran with two other men being shot in the abdomen and leg.
Last week Monday, Kevon Moses, 28, was shot dead mere minutes after he left the Belmont Police Station.
Moses was detained as a suspect in a recent shooting in the Port-of-Spain Division but was released around 6 pm. As he walked out of the police station, a car drove up, a man got out and shot him. The killer returned to the car which sped off.
Duncan Street residents
upset with police
Guardian Media visited Duncan Street yesterday to speak with Sansavoir’s relatives, who explained through their locked door that they were too distraught.
Residents who spoke anonymously said the Sansavoir was another “innocent paying for the guilty.”
One woman said Sansavoir confided in her recently that he wanted to purchase a car and was working towards that. She said when he left her yard Saturday afternoon, she told him to be careful. He was killed minutes after returning home when he stopped to chat with his neighbours.
Another woman told Guardian Media that since the shooting, the normally busy streets and community were quiet as everyone remained indoors.
Other residents pointed at the cameras near the Duncan Street Police Post and questioned why the identities of the killers were not yet known. They added that the proximity of the police post to the scene of the shooting should have made the killers either second guess their mission or at the very least they should have been caught immediately or confronted by officers.
Snr cop: Calm will
return to PoS
Asked about what the residents described as the supposed in-action by the police, the head of the Inter-Agency Task Force Snr Supt Roger Alexander said the officers at the police post were on patrol outside of the area along with units from Fort Chacon and Charford Court.
Alexander said the fact that the killers were able to pounce on their victims may be because of a traitor amongst them and not because of the police. He added that in gang warfare gangsters are not able to trust their friends.
But Alexander added that after Saturday’s murder, police are now forced to re-evaluate their operations.
“We must now restrategise whether persons are getting more brave and more bold and brazen or we, believing that all is well in that vicinity and somehow, we take it down a notch. So now we must reassess that situation and be on full alert 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all the time. No longer can we just sit and say we are in the safe zone which is a station. These persons have arms and ammunition, consistent with that of persons who are going to war. We cannot afford to take that risk at all,” he said.
But he assured that calm would soon return to the capital city.
“As we speak, we expect a level of calm. We expect a level of calm with respect to gang activities in and around Port-of-Spain.”
On Thursday police arrested some 15 men believed to be affiliated with gangs. By yesterday, police officials said three were released and the remaining 12 were placed on several identification parades with none of them being identified in connection with various allegations.