Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Gunmen kill three


shot by masked men: Phillip Hillaire

Mark Fraser

Three men have been killed in separate incidents across the East-West Corridor bringing the country’s murder toll to 44 for the year so far.

The toll on January 30, 2013 was 33.

The first murder occurred in Sangre Grande at 6.30 a.m. on Tuesday with the motive reportedly a dispute over land, Sangre Grande police said.

The victim, Earl Campo, 37, lived at Horse Trace, Sangre Grande.

Campo was at his garden near his home when he saw a gunman standing near him. He reportedly knew the gunman and shouted at him but the man opened fire, hitting Campo in the leg.

The gunman then ran off.

Neighbours who heard the gunshot took Campo to the Sangre Grande District Hospital where he died around noon.

The second murder occurred in Diego Martin.

Police said that the victim, Josiah Ronaldo Rawlins, 22, was returning to his Donahue Street, Diego Martin home around 8.30 p.m. Tuesday after purchasing a soft drink when he was pounced on by a gunman.

The man shot him 14 times, killing him on the spot.

A relative said yesterday that after leaving secondary school, Rawlins started attending Servol to learn automotive straightening and painting.

The relative, who did not want to be identified, admitted that he also began liming with “bad company”.

He had a pending court case for gun possession and driving without a driver’s permit and insurance.

The third murder victim was Phillip “Ants” Hillaire aged 27 of Mon Repos, Morvant.

Police said the incident occurred at 10.40 p.m. while Hillaire was having a conversation with a friend about two houses from where he lived.

As Hillaire was locking the doors of a car he had just parked, a silver Nissan Almera slowed and one of three masked men leaned out the window of the car and opened fire.

Hillaire was hit several times about the body along with another man who received a gunshot to his mouth.

Hillaire and the other man were taken to the Port of Spain General Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The other man remained in hospital in stable condition last night.

Annmarie Osouna-Besson, Hillaire’s mother, spoke to reporters at the Forensic Science Centre in St James yesterday.

“He was my last son and a very good man. In fact, he loved children but he did not have.”

She said: “All I have to say to them bad boys is stop shooting and pray. Better your life because people going through grief for nothing. There is good and bad but my son was good.”

Homicide Bureau detectives described the murder as random and said that Hillaire and his friend were in the wrong place at the wrong time and that the gunmen were, “sending a message” to someone else in that community.

Homicide Bureau officers are continuing investigations.