(Trinidad Express) Seven people were gunned down in four separate incidents in Arima, La Horquetta, Beetham Gardens and Pt Lisas between Thursday night and Friday.
The killings have pushed the murder toll for the year so far to 256.
Those murdered have been identified by police as:
• Keyon Boldan, 23, of De Gannes Street, Arima;
• James “Tony” Brusco, 50, of Mausica Lands, Jonestown, Arima;
• Lester Mollino, 37, of Sanchez Street, Arima;
• Kern Mitchell, 22, of Mayaro.
• Sean Thompson, 23, of Evan Rees Lane, Phase Four, La Horquetta.
• Arnold Krishendath Mungroo, of Penal Rock Road, Penal.
• Denyse Philip, of Diamond Village, Claxton Bay.
In the Arima incident, four men were shot and killed, while three others were wounded, when two gunmen indiscriminately opened fire on residents.
Residents of Jonestown, among them children, and mothers with their babies in their arms, were forced to duck and run after two gunmen went on a shooting spree in the area just after 8 pm on Thursday.
At the time, people were liming along the road and others were going about their everyday business, like visiting the nearby shop.
Several people who attempted to escape the barrage of bullets were chased and shot at as the assailants fired at anyone in sight, police said. Boldan, Brusco, Mollino and Mitchell were killed, while Alvin Duncan, 47, Ian Richardson, 19, and Eugene Khan, 24, were injured.
Duncan, police said, was shot in the right ankle; Richardson, in the lower right leg and knee; and Khan, in the left shoulder.
They were taken to the Arima District Hospital, where they were treated and then transferred to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope.
At the Forensic Science Centre, St James, on Friday, Boldan’s father, Andre, told the Express his family remained shocked over the incident. The father of three sons and one daughter said monsters committed the act.
He said Boldan was expected to start working with the Kiss Baking Company in Chaguanas. “He went to purchase a bread and something to drink at the shop, and while doing that some people drop off with guns and when they run into the parlour and everybody tried to make themselves small in the parlour and the gunmen came in and wet (shoot) everybody who was inside there.
“This country needs some good prayers and blessings because something wrong. People just gone mad cause something definitely wrong for a man just to enter a village and shoot people for no reason,” Andre said.
Brusco, a construction worker, was a very loving, family-oriented person who worked hard in order to provide for his family, his relatives said.
His relatives, who asked not to be identified, said they didn’t have faith in the criminal justice system, and not enough was being done by law enforcement agencies to stem the flow of illegal arms and ammunition into the country.
“I have no faith in the authorities right now and it has become the norm now to shoot people at will, and they are not doing anything. The only person who’s trying is Mr Ian Alleyne (host of TV6’s Crime Watch programme).
“It seems like we have to accept that this is the norm now that they can’t protect us and the country from criminals, but it seemed like we would have to protect ourselves because they say they have a plan, but we not seeing any plan being implemented.
“I feel hurt and disheartened by what has happened. They need to do something about the proliferation of arms and ammunition on the streets,” a relative said.
Mollino, who is married and the father of two children, was expected to migrate to the United States to live with his wife and children, one of his relatives said. The incident, police said, occurred as several residents gathered along the roadway, while others were making their way to and from the Bert Assing parlour.
The killers emerged from a vehicle and asked for directions. They then opened fire on anyone in their sight before making their escape. Crime scene investigators recovered more than 50 nine-millimetre projectiles which littered the street and Assing’s parlour.