(Trinidad Express) A man who allegedly kidnapped a woman on November 5 at gunpoint from her home in Tunapuna, and for whom the police have been searching, yesterday walked up to a 25-year-old resident of the area and shot him dead.
Residents of First Trace, Maingot Road, in Tunapuna, said yesterday they are being terrorised by the man and are calling on the police to quickly catch him and bring him in, dead or alive, as the man has vowed to kill more residents on his hit list.
The residents said they are living in fear and are fed-up of being terrorised by the man, who has publicly stated he is not afraid to die. A resident told the Express, at the scene of yesterday’s murder, that the man has promised to take down as many people as he can during any gunfight.
Residents who had previously expressed concerns regarding their safety and that of their children said they have been left with little choice but to arm themselves with illegal weapons in order to protect their households from a violent criminal on the loose in the area.
They have called for a permanent police presence in the area until the man they accused of wreaking havoc in their once-quiet community is captured by police, dead or alive.
Police yesterday described the murder of Mark Songui, of Upper First Trace, Maingot Road, Tunapuna, as “revenge with a vengeance” by the suspect, who has now vowed to kill several persons who had handed him over to police earlier this year for threatening residents.
Songui, 25, was shot twice in the head while liming with two other friends at the side of the roadway around 10.30 a.m. As he fell to the ground, the man pumped more bullets into him before escaping in nearby bushes.
His mother, Elizabeth Figaro, and sister, Melissa Songui, quickly arrived at the scene and broke down in tears as undertakers placed his body inside a vehicle.
First Trace residents and police have described the elusive suspect as a menace to society, who made the lives of residents a living hell by firing shots at them and menacingly brandishing a firearm.
Police said they have received information that the suspect has, in his possession, a list of villagers whom he intends to execute one by one, in an act of revenge.
Earlier this year, the suspect was detained by residents, beaten about the body and later handed over to the police for criminal acts he committed against several residents with the use of an illegal 9mm pistol he possesses.
On November 5, in broad daylight, the suspect had boarded the First Trace home of Christine Williams, 21, and abducted her at gunpoint in the presence of her two young children.
Williams was dragged barefoot from her home, kicking and screaming, by the man who had threatened to kill anyone who got in his way. Residents had looked on in horror as the defenceless woman was taken into the nearby forest.
This triggered an immediate manhunt for Williams and the suspect by officers of the Anti-Kidnapping Squad, Northern Division Task Force and other police units, led by ASP Nazrool Hosein and Sgt Basdeo Sinanan, in the forest off First Trace and St Michael’s Road, St John’s Road, St Augustine.
One day later, Williams managed to escape from a house in which she was being kept, off the Caura Royal Road, by running through a track in the forest leading to First Trace. She was immediately taken to the Tunapuna Police Station where she was later placed in protective custody. Additional searches for the suspect by Task Force officers have turned up empty-handed.
Contacted yesterday, head of the Northern Division Snr Supt David Abraham said he has already instructed ASP Francis Joseph to lead a party of officers from the Northern Division Task Force to conduct 24-hour patrols in the area.
He added the police have encountered challenges in apprehending the suspect, who hides out in the forest, but added that all available resources will be utilised in locating him within the earliest possible time.
Abraham said, “We are aware that he has committed numerous crimes, including the homicide in the area earlier today (yesterday), and we have deployed all our available resources in apprehending him. We may have to seek assistance from the soldiers to help us comb the forest properly as we seek to arrest this man.
“He is responsible for several serious crimes, including armed kidnapping and firearm-related offences, and we will continue to do all in our power to arrest him and bring him to justice. I know that the people living in the area have serious and legitimate concerns regarding their safety, but we have the officers from the Northern Division Task Force, headed by ASP Joseph, who will be conducting regular patrols in the area, in the absence of a permanent base in the area.”
The suspect has served a four-year jail sentence for shooting a police officer.
On the hilly terrain in First Trace where the murder occurred, residents yesterday spoke among themselves about personal terrifying encounters they have had with the suspect. One man stated that residents were too frightened and intimidated to notify the police when the suspect is seen in the area.
“If they (fellow residents) see him, they ain’t go say nothing ’cause they know he ain’t go do them nothing, and they don’t want him to label them an informant, but I go quicker call the police. If they know he was going an’ kill somebody (yesterday), they would have called the police,” one man said.
“He is a lil menace and a lil pest. If you see how he does move up here, real silent, and he does be watching you in a kind of way that does get you frighten’ and make you wonder if he go pull out he gun for you. The police really have to do something about he, boy, because he go kill more people. He (the suspect) have to dead because it’s a serious thing up here,” a young man said as he took pictures of the crime scene with his cell phone.
“Right in front my gap, he sit down and cleaning his gun. It happen right in front of my children, and when I call the police, they never came,” a woman told a Task Force officer at the scene.
Visiting yesterday’s murder scene were Snr Supt Abraham, ASP Hosein, Sgt Sinanan, Insp Seemungal Rampersad, Insp Phillip, Cpl Steele-Williams and PCs Akeil Bernard and Subash Harripersad of the Tunapuna police and the Region II Homicide Bureau of Investigations.