Trinidad: Murder toll hits 450

Relatives of Sean Thomas console each other near the scene of his murder on Queen Street, Port-of-Spain yesterday. PHOTO: (KERWIN PIERRE)



TRINIDAD & TOBAGO — The brazenness of the country’s killers went to the extreme in two separate murders that took the toll to 450 for the year between Thursday night and yesterday morning.

The murders took place in Morvant and Port-of-Spain and both with complete disregard to the fact police were nearby.

In the most recent case, Sean Thomas, 33, of Francis Road, San Juan, was shot dead along Queen Street, Port-of-Spain as two police jeeps were on patrol.

According to eyewitnesses reports, a gunman opened fire on the silver Toyota car Thomas was driving along Queen Street, between Nelson and George Streets, around 10 am. Witnesses said the gunman was unmasked and a marked police jeep was about five car lengths away in the front, with a police jeep two car lengths behind Thomas’ car. An off-duty police officer working in a nearby jewelry shop heard the gunshots and opened fire on the killer, but only hit another car in the process.

Despite being virtually surrounded and engaged by police seconds after the attack, the killer escaped by running through the nearby plannings. Up to yesterday no arrests had been made. But police said the incident was recorded on close circuit cameras and they expect to make an arrest soon.

Police said they believed Thomas was killed following a robbery, but they are also working on the theory it could be linked to a gun attack last year which he survived.

Shoppers stopped and gawked as relatives of the deceased arrived at the scene, having been alerted of the murder via photos on social media. His relatives were too distraught to speak at the scene.

As the relatives awaited the removal of his body, those gathered were overheard lamenting at the “dark days” of the country. One woman who sells along Queen Street, near to where the killing took place, said she had sons and warned them about wearing jewelry in Port-of-Spain, since it is believed he may have been killed for his gold chain. Other people chastised the police for failing to apprehend the killer while others said Thomas should not have fought with the bandit.

In the second incident on Thursday night, four gunmen shot and killed a US deportee along Flamingo Street, Morvant, just behind the Morvant Police Station. Police said the deceased, Akeem Jordan, 37, was known to be involved in criminal activity.

According to reports, the killers pulled up in a Nissan Almera and opened fire on Jordan and sped off. Officers ran to the scene but by the time they arrived the killers had already escaped. Police said Jordan told them he knew his attackers but died before he could give a name. He was shot nine times, his autopsy revealed.