hunt for clues: Crime scene officers at Lower Pashley Street, Laventille, where Casimo Purcell was gunned down yesterday. —Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

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Father of 2 shot dead

Gang warfare blamed for latest murder...

By Gyasi Gonzales gyasi.gonzales@trinidadexpress.com

GANG warfare between Laventille and Beetham Gardens continued yesterday with the shooting death of a 26-year-old father of two.

As a result, the murder toll stood at 30 up to last night.

The victim, Casimo Purcell, lived at #7 Lower Pashley Street, Laventille, near the Eastern Main Road.

Residents told the police that at 1.30 a.m. yesterday, they heard several gunshots but none of them dared venture out to investigate what happened.

Around 4.30 a.m., residents on their way to work saw Purcell's bullet-riddled body lying in a foyer area of a staircase that leads to his upstairs apartment.

They called the police and a team of officers led by Supt Ajith Persad, along with Insp Sahadeo Singh, visited the scene where they conducted enquiries.

Purcell's body was eventually moved to the Port of Spain mortuary.

Purcell's sister who was on the scene yesterday said she did not know why someone wanted to kill him.

She said she did not want her name used in this story but added that her brother was a "nice, loving brother who was nice to everybody. He was not in nothing".

She said he was the father of two girls, ages seven and two, and he recently began a new job as he was trying to save money to fix a car, so he could provide for his family.

Another relative of Purcell's described him as an avid footballer.

On Wednesday morning, a Beetham Gardens resident named Carlton Weekes, aged 58, paid with his life when he was found standing along the Readymix Private Road.

Police said Weekes was killed because he was a Beetham Gardens resident walking through a Laventille neighbourhood.

For the last two weeks, gang warfare between the two communities has been raging and has left 12 people nursing gunshot wounds. Two of those victims succumbed to their injuries.

The first of the victims from this new spate of attacks was Kevin Brown, 24, who was gunned down near his Third Street, Beetham Gardens, home on the afternoon of January 12.

The attack was followed by a reprisal attack on January 14 in Plaisance Street, John John, where five people, including an 11-year-old boy, were shot.

They have all survived this attack.

On the night of January 17, the shootings continued where eight people from Beetham Gar- dens were shot.

One of the victims of that shooting, Kerry Roget, 40, succumbed to his injuries on Monday.

Homicide Bureau officers are continuing investigations.

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