Teen liming with friends gunned down

(Trinidad Guardian) A Chaguanas teenager was gunned down as he limed with friends on Thursday night.

Police said Muhammad Ali, 15, was shot seven times by gunmen who came out of a Nissan Wingroad and opened fire on a group of men who were liming at the Village Plaza, Edinburgh 500, around 11 pm.

Reports are that when the gunmen began shooting Ali froze and was cornered. He was shot twice in the back, twice in the head and three times in the chest and arms.

The Third Form Carapichaima West student lived at Moonstone Crescent, Edinburgh 500, a few minutes walk from the plaza, which houses several small businesses.

When the T&T Guardian visited the scene yesterday, police were stationed there and said they have routine patrols in the area and usually chased away young men found liming there. The officers said the plaza has security guards who were paid to deter loitering. One officer pointed to a sign near to where the teen fell outlining no loitering in the area.

The boy’s mother, Stacey Standard, told the T&T Guardian he was accustomed to being out late but it was usually nearby with other friends. She said on Thursday night she “had a bad feeling” moments before she was told her first-born son had been killed.

Standard said her son began acting out after his father, Kameel Ali, was killed last year but he was beginning to return to his normal self.

“He was eating bread and cheese and he just run out the house and I end up dozing off. I jump up around 10.15 and went to check on him but I only saw his brother. I got a funny feeling and I couldn’t go back to sleep so I went and water some of my plants.

“When I was going back in the house two cars pulled up and from the way the guys looked I knew something was wrong and one of them told me ‘Moms, Muhammad dead.’”

As she spoke, neighbours poured in to offer condolences for Ali, who everyone described as “quiet.” Standard said her son wanted to become a banker or venture into business and she had plans of taking him out of the secondary school and enrolling him in a private school in Chaguanas and then to Roytrin.

Three of Ali’s friends said his death caused widespread grief not only in the community but in his school. Two boys, who did not want to be identified, said they heard about it while at school.

Gabriella Alleyne, 16, who said she knew Ali “since he was a fat lil boy,” was catapulted into further mourning, as she was told of her friend’s death while leaving the funeral of another.

Alleyne began crying as she recalled how she learned of Ali’s death as she sat on a bench just outside her home. She said she was leaving the funeral for suicide victim Faith Gajadhar when she learned Ali had been killed.

“On Thursday night he asked me to come and lime but I tell him I had school. Sunday I was washing my mother car and I was just encouraging him to stay in school,” Alleyne said.

In an unrelated incident, a taxi-driver was gunned down in his car along the Belmont Circular Road, near St Dominic’s Children’s Home around 5 pm yesterday.

Ricardo Joseph, of Upper Belle Eau Road, Belmont, got into a confrontation with a man he knew, police said. After a short while the man shot him and fled. With Joseph’s death, the murder toll now stands at 315.

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