PORT OF SPAIN – Several shootings and stabbings marred J’Ouvert celebrations in Port of Spain, Newtown, Tunapuna and St. Joseph – leaving one man dead and sending several others to hospital.
The lone fatality occurred just before seven am yesterday at the corner of Prince and George Streets, Port of Spain. A statement from the Police Service said yesterday 80 people were arrested during J’Ouvert celebrations across the country. Several knives and cutlasses were seized.
In the murder case, according to police, ex-soldier Calvert James was stabbed as he intervened in an argument between two men.
James, 56, was said be to be employed with the Strategic Services Agency (SSA).
Senior officers said James was standing on the roadway when he observed the men quarrelling.
Attempting to “bring peace”, witnesses told police a third man walked up and stabbed James once in the chest.
As James fell to the ground, the killer ran towards a nearby apartment building.
James was taken to the Port of Spain General Hospital by officers of the Inter-Agency Task Force, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
In the second incident, around 9 a.m., at George Street, Port of Spain, Hal Kern, 28, of East Dry River, was shot in the right knee by an unknown gunman. Kern was reportedly liming on the roadway with several other people, when loud explosions were heard. No one else was injured in that incident.
However, both incidents led to the area being “locked down” by police and soldiers as several searches carried out.
Police were also able to confirm that a Special Reserve Police officer was stabbed at Marli Street, Newtown.
Information revealed that PC Scipio of the Malabar Police Station was standing at the corner of Marli Street and the Queen’s Park Savannah around 9 a.m., when he was approached by a group of men who began threatening him.
It is alleged that a fight broke out and Scipio was stabbed twice, following which the group ran off.
Scipio was taken to hospital where he was treated and warded in a stable condition.
Meanwhile, senior officials in the Northern Division confirmed a shooting and stabbing during the revelry in Tunapuna, while another shooting was said to have occurred near the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA), St Joseph.
A woman was allegedly stabbed during the J’Ouvert celebrations in Tunapuna as a fight broke out and several people began to pelt bottles.
This incident is said to have occurred around eight am, while the shooting took place at the corner of Green Street and Tunapuna Road a short while later.
Police said a group of men were liming at a nearby bar, when a car drove past and gunmen opened fire. During the incident, two people were shot. They were taken to the EWMSC where they remain warded in a stable condition. Three men were later held in connection with that incident.
Even as officers in Tunapuna responded to these two incidents, officers from the St Joseph Police Station were alerted about a shooting near WASA. Officers were unable to identify the man or the circumstances that led to him being shot.