Laventille gang war over five ‘missing’ guns

(Trinidad Guardian) The theft of five guns from gang members in Picton Road, Laventille, is said to be linked to the killing of seven men in east Port-of-Spain and Laventille during the past three weeks. Police believe the latest casualty to the reported theft of the illegal guns was “PH” driver Lawrence Quashie, 48, of Mapp Lands, Laventille. Quashie was shot 13 times by gunmen while at his home at La Pomp Trace, Laventille, around 8.30 am on Monday. There had been a series of shooting deaths in east Port-of-Spain over a three-week period. Police said they have evidence which suggested the theft of the guns had sparked gang warfare among criminal elements in east Port-of-Spain and Laventille. On Monday, around 8.30 am, residents of La Pomp Trace heard several gunshots.

They checked and found Quashie dead on the roadway  with bullet wounds about the body. Police found nine spent shells on the scene. Investigators said last week a group of gunmen went on a rampage in the area, searching for the five stolen guns. Quashie’s brother (who refused to be named) accused the police of not patrolling the area which he described as a  “war zone.” He did not want an autopsy done on his brother’s body, saying the “scourge on the black race” must stop.

He added: “My brother was an active man. He was strong and healthy. It was not like he was on a bed or sick. “I just spoke with him on the phone when it happened. I am not agreeing to the autopsy or for them to cut him open.” Councillor for Laventille/ East Dry River, Isha Wells, in an interview outside the Forensic Science Centre, called for the replacement of two police mobile units in the communities. She said: “They moved two police mobiles in East Dry River and Plaisance Terrace and five murders occurred a stone’s throw from that.

“Young men walking around with guns in broad daylight and rumours of missing guns after gangsters locked down the area for them—we wonder why the police moved. “You can imagine what we have there… they (gunmen) coming to kill and take what we (residents) have.” She said the Government’s seven-point crime plan never materialised. She added: “I think the Prime Minister has good intentions and I don’t want to rest the blame on her shoulders.”

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