Trinidad: Cops brace for fallout after three die in Sea Lots violence

Tra­cy Julius-Rogers

(Trinidad Guardian) Po­lice are now brac­ing for a fall­out af­ter a 31-year-old moth­er of two was gunned down just out­side her Pi­o­neer Dri­ve, Sea Lots home yes­ter­day morn­ing, less than 12 hours af­ter a dead­ly dri­ve-by shoot­ing claimed the lives of two men, in­clud­ing a ca­lyp­son­ian, and left six oth­ers wound­ed.

Ac­cord­ing to a po­lice re­port, short­ly af­ter 7 am Tra­cy Julius-Rogers opened her front door af­ter some­one called out to her. As she stepped out­side an un­known gun­man opened fire, hit­ting her once in the chest. An­oth­er man, whose name was not dis­closed to Guardian Me­dia, was al­so shot in one of his feet dur­ing the at­tack.

The com­mu­ni­ty had been thrown in­to dis­ar­ray a lit­tle less than 12 hours be­fore this at­tack af­ter two ve­hi­cles drove by, just off the Churchill Roo­sevelt High­way, around 8 pm and car­ried out a failed hit tar­get­ing com­mu­ni­ty leader Cedric “Burkie” Burke. The oc­cu­pants from one of the ve­hi­cles, be­lieved to be a Nis­san Xtrail, opened fire on a group of men who were play­ing pok­er.

Rawlye Williams, 37, died on the spot while ca­lyp­son­ian Patrick “Re­veal­er” Lewis, who was said to be an “in­no­cent” passer­by, died of his in­juries at the Port-of-Spain Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal. Lewis was at one time reg­is­tered un­der the ca­lyp­so tent Klas­sic Ru­so. He was cur­rent­ly work­ing on his 2019 ca­lyp­so and did not re­veal its ti­tle yet.

Patrick Lewis

Six oth­ers – Ja­mal Leid, 24, who was shot in the right shoul­der; Nigel Roberts, 30, shot in the right foot; Shenelle John­son, 24, shot on the right leg; Trey Baird, 22, shot in the back; Trevor Isaac, 56, shot on the left hand and Rahim Bruce, 23, shot in the chest – were al­so hit. Bruce is cur­rent­ly ward­ed in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion at the hos­pi­tal. Burke es­caped un­hurt.

Ac­cord­ing to a po­lice source, Julius-Rogers was be­lieved to have been an in­for­mant who point­ed out to the shoot­ers where the men, in­clud­ing Burke, were lim­ing. A source told the Guardian Me­dia that af­ter the dri­ve-by shoot­ing a voice note sur­faced on so­cial me­dia and the voice was be­lieved to be that of Julius-Rogers, a moth­er of two.

A rel­a­tive of Williams, iden­ti­fied on­ly as Joel, who was at the Foren­sic Sci­ence Cen­tre, St James, yes­ter­day, said Williams was at the wrong place at the wrong time. He said Williams lived in D’Abadie but fre­quent­ed the area, where he of­ten en­gages in card games and “ole talk.”

“He was a labour­er but was not work­ing at present. He was no mis­chie­vous fel­la…was just at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Joel said.

But what was the re­al mo­tive be­hind Sun­day’s dead­ly dri­ve-by?

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice sources, it was linked to a falling out among young men in the Sea Lots area who were all once un­der Burke, be­ing guid­ed by him. It is be­lieved that the dis­grun­tled men moved out of the area and vowed to “kill Burke.” It is be­lieved Julius-Rogers was linked to these men and was ac­cused of shar­ing in­for­ma­tion on the where­abouts of Burke and oth­er men in the area.

There are al­so claims by po­lice that the fall­out stemmed from the grant­i­ng of gov­ern­ment con­tracts to Burke and his men. How­ev­er, dur­ing a vis­it to the com­mu­ni­ty yes­ter­day, Burke’s close as­so­ciate, iden­ti­fied on­ly as Crow, said claims of the dis­tri­b­u­tion and grant­i­ng of gov­ern­ment con­tracts to Burke were “out­right not true.”

“A lot of men against Burke be­cause he doesn’t sup­port the crime. He does em­ploy the ghet­to youths in his Cepep and URP gangs and con­struc­tion and se­cu­ri­ty com­pa­nies just so that the youths would be em­ployed and not just be on the block idling,” Crow said.

“They against what Burke stands for. Men left here who were against the good vibes in the com­mu­ni­ty here and what Burke was do­ing and they gone for years, we nev­er know their where­abouts. But we be­lieve that the out­siders came for Burke al­though they didn’t shoot at any­body spe­cif­ic and just spray at all who there and pass­ing.”

Asked what the Sea Lots com­mu­ni­ty want­ed, Crow said a vis­it from Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley to lis­ten to their con­cerns.

Say­ing they were giv­en elec­tion promis­es that are yet to be ful­filled, Crow said, “We help you to reach where you are. You promised cer­tain things. We help you reach where you are and you for­get us!

“You tell your­self be­cause it ain’t reach in front of your door you safe? But all I just want you to know is that day does run un­til night meet up mis­ter Prime Min­is­ter and all un­fair games does play over and God has the last say.”

Crow said the peo­ple of T&T are be­ing ne­glect­ed un­der the Row­ley ad­min­is­tra­tion and added that that ne­glect needs to change im­me­di­ate­ly.

“The last prime min­is­ter, Kam­la Per­sad-Bisses­sar, used to come in and hear the plight of the peo­ple. For­mer prime min­is­ter Patrick Man­ning used to come in and you (re­fer­ring to Row­ley) is a man, so, why you can’t come and hear us,” Crow said.

Po­lice of­fi­cers are al­so in­ves­ti­gat­ing an­oth­er dri­ve-by shoot­ing in Mal­oney that oc­curred on Sun­day night si­mul­ta­ne­ous to Sea Lots in­ci­dent. That in­ci­dent oc­curred near Build­ing 15, where two women and a man were shot and wound­ed.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions are con­tin­u­ing.

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