PORT OF SPAIN — Thirty-five murders have been committed since Jack Warner assumed the portfolio of National Security Minister, according to an Express count.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced a Cabinet reshuffle on June 22 when Jack was removed as Minister of Works.
On June 23 the murder toll stood at 194 while up to last night the number totalled 229 with five more murders yesterday.
Contacted last night around 7:15 for a comment on the number of murders, Warner said that he needed to check his statistics before commenting.
He said: “I am sitting in my office right now and the person with the statistics has left for the day. I have no way to corroborate what you are saying.”
Among the murders yesterday, three men were gunned down near their Carapo homes, leaving their families in a state of shock and anguish while some neighbours felt relieved.
Among the victims were Ricardo Marshall, 28, who had sued the State for wrongful arrest after being charged for a 2009 murder. He had claimed he was innocent in that murder.
The other two victims – Anil Harry, 28 and Nigel Jack, 26 – all lived a stone’s throw from each other in the Simon Road area in Carapo.
Marshall was charged with the murder of his neighbour, Kevin Guy, on August 13, 2009 but in 2010 the murder charge was dropped after the Director of Public Prosecutions, Roger Gaspard, filed a notice of discontinuance of the capital charge against Marshall.
Gaspard had reportedly examined the police’s case and concluded that improper evidence gathering procedures were used by investigators. Approximately 17 days after being freed in the Arima Magistrates’ Court , Marshall filed a lawsuit against the State.
Around 8 a.m. yesterday, the three men were liming together outside a house in the one-time squatting community which became regularised a few years ago, when they were approached by two teenagers.
Marshall, Harry and Jack ran off when the teenagers drew their guns and pointed it at them.
Marshall was shot first. He ran off and was shot again.
He was still alive when Arima Police arrived on the scene. Police took him to the Arima District Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Harry managed to run a short distance through some bushes behind his neighbour’s home but one of the gunmen aimed, squeezed the trigger and shot Harry in his stomach. He was far off and the bullet did not exit his body. The gunman however walked up to Harry as he lay screaming in pain in the back of a resident’s yard. He was shot twice to his head afterwards at close range and died instantly.
Jack too was shot at close range and was killed instantly.
Relatives of Ricardo Marshall and Anil Harry spoke to reporters yesterday.
One of Marshall and Harry’s cousins, Kelly Ann Ramkissoon, said she was at work when she got the news that her two cousins had been shot.
She said she got to the scene and walked over to where Harry’s body was lying and also spoke to some of his neighbours.
“People who knew Anil said he and Marshall were in wrong company because he was a good fella and he used to work with my mom,” she said.
She continued, “I feel hurt about this because I mean that’s my cousin and I never know Carapo to be a place like this because people saying now that it is a bad place.” (Express)