PORT OF SPAIN –– Five people were killed in less than 24 hours yesterday, three of them in apparent gang warfare in Belmont, as gun-toting criminals continued their killing spree, sending the toll to ten for the year so far.
The bloodshed started on Wednesday night when a Valencia man was killed by an angry bandit during a home invasion, while residents found an unidentified man shot to death in El Socorro, San Juan.
Two people were also wounded in a shooting incident in St Joseph yesterday.
The murder at El Socorro occurred at about 2:15 p.m. at Jattan Trace but the victim was unidentified up to last night.
The country’s first double murder was recorded in Belmont earlier in the day.
One of the men, identified as Matthew “Smeagol” Simmons, who police said was a gang leader, was a passenger in a car when he was killed. Police said he had earlier been at the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court.
The other man, who later succumbed to gunshot wounds at the Port of Spain General Hospital, was identified as Oswald Bailey. Bailey, 24, was found lying on the roadway wearing a black ski mask.
According to police, the shootings occurred at about 11 a.m. along Belmont Circular Road. Both men were found in front of a residential building and within earshot of a couple of schools and the police station. Police said the vehicle Simmons was in was blocked by two other vehicles and masked men came out one of them and shot Simmons. Police believe one of the shooters, who was Bailey, was either shot by his partner or by Simmons or one of his men.
A gun was also recovered on the scene. Police said Simmons lived close to where he was killed.
At about 3 p.m., an unidentified man was also killed at Gonsalves, Belmont, in what was said to be a reprisal for the earlier killings.
In yesterday’s shooting incident, Kerlan “Mice Man” George, 40, and his wife were on their way to their La Seiva Village, Maraval, home at about 2:30 p.m. in their black SUV when gunmen opened fire on them.
George was shot on the hand and his wife in the face. The incident occurred in St Joseph near the community centre. George was taken to Medical Associates and his wife to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mount Hope.
In an unrelated incident, police are seeking the public’s assistance to identify the bodies of two men found dead on Wednesday.
In the first incident around 4:30 p.m., Plaissance Road, San Juan, residents heard gunshots in the area. Shortly after, the body of a man of African descent was found lying in an open area near the St Phillip Primary School.
The man, who was found with multiple gunshots to the head, was wearing a yellow T-shirt, black Levi jeans and blue slippers. He appeared to be in his late 30s.
In the second incident, the decomposed body of a man was found along the Audrey Jeffers Highway at about 6:30 p.m.
Both bodies were sent to the Forensic Science Centre, St James.
Also on Wednesday at about 6 p.m. an unidentified man was gunned down at a basketball court in Picton Road, Laventille.
And on Tuesday, minimart owner Quincy George was shot in the face and body while at his business. He was taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mount Hope, but succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday morning. George’s murder was the second to have occurred in the area.
On Monday, businessman Randy Boodhan was shot dead while at his businessplace Internet Café MiniMart and DVD Movies at Cocorite Road, Tumpuna Road, Arima.
The first murder for 2016 occurred on New Year’s Night at about 9:20, when Ravi Maniedeo, 27, was killed near his home at Old Longdenville Road.
He was shot in the head as he was about to get out of his black Honda Accord after pulling up outside his apartment building.