More than 60 bullets fired at Chinese couple in T&T

-police pursuing various theories

The couple (Trinidad Express photo)

(Trinidad Guardian) Speculation that a Chinese mafia operating in T&T ordered the hit on the lives on Chinese nationals Shirui Zhao and Yangli Gu is one of the theories being investigated by police.

Investigators told the T&T Guardian that they have received reports that Zhao, 32 and Gu, 29, a mother of two, may have been part of an organisation and recently left without permission. They also received information that the victims failed to honour payments to a money lender and a hit was ordered. However, none of the evidence has yet pointed in this direction. There was also a theory that Zhao had witnessed a murder and was to testify in the matter and his killing could have been linked to that.

Investigators have, however, so far ruled out robbery as a motive, as the gunmen fled the scene immediately after pumping more than 60 bullets into the Zhao’s black Toyota Corolla Altis.

The couple (Trinidad Express photo)

The mafia-style murder happened around 6.45 pm Thursday, after Zhao and Gu left their E World Club and Liquor Bank business along Tarouba Road, Marabella, with their security guard trailing in another car.

On reaching to their home, located upstairs the Kosume Bar, at the corner of John Street and New Haven Avenue, two men wearing hoodies got out of a white Nissan Sunny B-14 which was parked nearby.

The men, who were armed with automatic firearms, then approached the car shooting.

The gunmen took positions on either side of the car and continued shooting their targets through the glass. Zhao, who sat in the driver’s seat, died within minutes of the attack. The security guard sped off after his car was hit and went to the nearby Marabella Police Station. He received minor injuries and was treated and discharged at the San Fernando General Hospital. The guard was said to be assisting police with investigations last night.

Southern Division police, led by Snr Supt Zamsheed Mohammed, ASP Ali Mohammed and Insp Don Gajadhar, were on the scene coordinating searches for the suspects. However, neither the suspects nor the getaway car was found up to yesterday.

Scores of residents gathered near the crime scene expressing shock as the brazen murders took place near the busy main road. They also followed the murder of Everton Moses, 35, who was gunned down while walking along Sea View Drive, Marabella, on Wednesday night.

Moses, a father of one, was walking to Riverside Drive to celebrate his mother Angela Moses’ 57th birthday. Thursday night’s double murder was also the fourth murder in the Southern Division this week.

Post mortem results yesterday confirmed two different firearms were used, as when forensic pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov performed an autopsy on Gu, he found both jacketed and unjacketed bullets. The autopsy also suggested the intended target might have been Zhao.

Alexandrov explained that Zhao was shot several times, one from a distance and the rest from with 60-70 cm away. Trapped by his killers, Zhao suffered several defensive wounds on his hands before being shot another 12 times between the head and feet. His fatal shots pierced his lungs, heart and spinal cord. Gu on the other hand was shot four times and bled to death after a bullet perforated her aorta. In his report, Alexandrov said the victims were murdered execution style.

The E World Club and Liquor Bank remained closed yesterday when the T&T Guardian visited. Chinese business owners nearby were identified as relatives but they denied it when asked. Other Chinese nationals at the Kosume Bar also refused to speak.

The T&T Guardian was told officials from the Chinese Embassy met with police and up to last night were in a meeting.

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