Trinidad schoolboy gunned down in Grande

De Shawn Hitlal

(Trinidad Guardian) A 17-year-old sec­ondary school stu­dent who is on sus­pen­sion has been gunned down by an un­known gun­man. De Shawn Hit­lal, a Form 4 stu­dent of San­gre Grande Sec­ondary School was killed while lim­ing with friends at North East­ern Set­tle­ment, Ojoe Road, San­gre Grande, on Sat­ur­day night.

He was shot mul­ti­ple times about his body and died while un­der­go­ing emer­gency surgery at the San­gre Grande Hos­pi­tal.

Po­lice re­port­ed that around 7:45 pm Hit­lal was sit­ting with friends at the side of the road at the cor­ner of Ja­cob and Road 6 in North East­ern Set­tle­ment when a white Hilux pulled up in front of them. A man alight­ed from the back seat of the ve­hi­cle and went straight to Hit­lal and be­gan shoot­ing him about his body. His friends scam­pered in­to the near­by bush­es and hid un­til the fir­ing stop and the ve­hi­cle drove off.

Hit­lal, of Ra­moutar Ex­ten­sion, San­gre Grande, was still alive when he was tak­en by a pass­er-by to the hos­pi­tal. He died while un­der­go­ing surgery.

Po­lice of­fi­cers led by ASP Re­my of the East­ern Di­vi­sion and Homi­cide of­fi­cers from Re­gion 11, Arou­ca, PCs Ram­di­al, Ma­haraj, Wren, and Rat­tans­ingh were on the crime scene. Sev­er­al spent shells were re­cov­ered. Po­lice could not de­ter­mine a mo­tive for the killing of the stu­dent but be­lieved it was a hit be­cause of the num­ber of times he was shot about his body.

When T&T Guardian vis­it­ed Hit­lal’s grand­par­ents at their home, they were in shock.

The grand­par­ents asked that their names be with­held and no pho­tos tak­en of them. “We are all de­vot­ed Mus­lims and as such avoid hav­ing pic­tures tak­en,” they said.

The grand­fa­ther told Guardian Me­dia that around 11:30 am on Sat­ur­day he was look­ing at the test match be­tween West In­dies and Eng­land on his tele­vi­sion set when Hit­lal told him he was step­ping out and would re­turn short­ly. Hit­lal nev­er re­turned and around 8 pm, his grand­fa­ther was in­formed that he was dead.

“I re­mained in shock and was on­ly con­vinced when a rel­a­tive came and told me,” his grand­fa­ther said.

“He was a good boy, al­ways re­spect­ful and obe­di­ent. As young men they can­not re­main bored all the times…he had every­thing he want­ed and on­ly this week he asked for a tele­vi­sion in his room.”

Hit­lal’s grand­moth­er said he lived with her since he was small. His par­ents are sep­a­rat­ed. His moth­er lives at Mal­abar and fa­ther at Arou­ca.

She said he was sus­pend­ed from school along with oth­er stu­dents, but did not dis­close for what.

She said Fri­day he told her he was not go­ing back to school and went to get reg­is­tered for the MIC pro­gramme. “He re­turned home and we spoke, he told me he prefers to learn a trade,” she said.

Hit­lal’s grand­moth­er said she al­ways en­gaged in con­ver­sa­tions with him and ad­vised him to be nice and kind to peo­ple.

“De Shawn al­ways make me smile when he feels I am sad. I will miss my son. I am shocked and still re­main in shock at the killing of my grand­son.”

Hit­lal’s grand­par­ents are call­ing for jus­tice.

Hit­lal’s body will be tak­en to the Foren­sic Sci­ence Cen­tre, St James, to­day.

PC Wren of Homi­cide Bu­reau Re­gion 11, Arou­ca, is con­tin­u­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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