Two killed, two hurt in brutal T&T attack

(Trinidad Guardian) A Hardbargain family who offered their home as refuge to a relative who was being hunted by criminals, suffered a tragic fate yesterday morning when two of their relatives were killed and two others injured by gunmen who stormed their house.

For Helen Francis, the gory scene of blood and the bodies of her son, Kyle Francis, 20, and nephew, Alex Smith, 26, was too much to take. Relatives said yesterday she was still in a state of shock and could not sleep although medical personnel gave her sedatives and other medication after she was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital for care.

Her son, Kyle, who was expected to start law studies at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, in September, died on the scene after being shot through the eye.

Smith, a rigger, died immediately after being shot several times in the head. Kyle’s father, Andre, 67, was shot in the chest, while his brother Franklin, 47, was shot in the neck.

According to reports, the family was at their Sister’s Road home around 12.45 am when three men, armed with a cutlass and a gun, entered the house through an unlocked side door while Kyle, Alex and Franklin were watching a movie. Andre was sleeping upstairs with his wife, Helen, and their nine-year-old daughter.

Their cousin, Clive Jackson, said yesterday that the suspects tied Smith’s hand behind his back and shot him several times in his head. As Kyle attempted to run to the door, he too was shot, as was Franklin. Jackson said he believed when Andre heard the commotion he ran downstairs and was shot in his chest.

Residents said the attackers were dropped off at a side street near the house and the driver drove to a savannah on the other side and waited until the men returned.

Clive Jackson recalls the attack on his relatives at the home of Andre Francis in Hardbargain yesterday.
Clive Jackson recalls the attack on his relatives at the home of Andre Francis in Hardbargain yesterday.

Princes Town police, including Insp Pooran, Sgt Pacheco, Cpl Rahim and officers from the Region III Homicide Bureau, responded and set up searches and roadblocks for the suspects. No one was held up to late yesterday.

Yesterday, relatives said  a close relative of Andre came to stay with the family last Wednesday because he was involved in drugs and there were men out to kill him. They said two weeks ago, he escaped being kidnapped and shot in Rio Claro and he had been in hiding ever since.

“Look at what they did to Kyle. He and Alex never did anyone anything. All those boys know is church, home and playing football in the savannah. They played football last night and they had just gone home to put on a movie,” a relative said.

Helen was reportedly so traumatised by the attack that relatives found her frozen in her room, while her daughter still could not come to terms with what happened to her family. Jackson said the area is usually safe and the whole community was at the house after the murders.

“How can we feel safe with something like this happening?” Jackson asked.

Recalling what he saw when he came to the house, he said: “It was just sad… blood and people on the ground. Andre was just on the ground gasping for air and Kyle was dead by the door. Alex was knelt over dead and Franklin was on the ground saying ‘don’t let me die.’”


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