KILLED ON THE SPOT: Franz Pierre

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Men shot dead in Laventille, Diego

By By Gyasi Gonzales

TWO men were shot dead in separate incidents in north Trinidad yesterday morning, bringing the year’s murder toll to 216 up to last night.

The corresponding figure at July 5 last year was 189.

Police investigators said they did not have any motive behind the shooting deaths of the two male victims, as none of them were known to the police.

The first incident occurred at 2 a.m. at Patna Village, Diego Martin, where an employee of Republic Bank Limited was shot dead during a house lime with friends.

Police said that the victim, 31-year-old Franz Pierre, lived with his family at Tragarete Road, Port of Spain, but early yesterday morning he was at his friend’s home in Patna Village.

He was playing cards with three other friends when four masked men with guns walked into the friend’s yard and announced a hold-up. Before anyone of the men could respond the four gunmen opened fire, hitting Pierre and two other men about their bodies.

Two of the other card players were injured and were taken to St James Medical Centre, where they were treated.

Pierre was killed on the spot.

Pierre was employed as a loans officer with the bank.

The second incident occurred at 10.45 a.m. in Laventille.

Police said that the victim, Keston John, 21, had parked his Nissan B-15 Sentra at the corner of Erica Street and Eastern Main Road, Laventille, near a building which housed a company known as Safetec Limited and was about to exit the car when he was approached by two gunmen.

 There were two other people in the car as well.

Police said that before John got out the car, one of the gunmen opened fire, forcing all three people out of the vehicle.

 The gunmen then ran up to John and opened fire, killing him on the spot. The gunmen then ran off.

Officers from Besson Street CID later visited the scene, where they conducted enquiries.

Police told reporters that John was not known to them and they did not have a motive as to why someone would have killed him.

 However, the police said they believe that because John was from Laventille and known as a taxi-driver, he was targeted by a gang from Beetham Gardens as, according to officers, he “strayed” into Beetham gang territory.

Homicide Bureau officers are continuing investigations into the two murders and a post-mortem is expected to be performed on the bodies tomorrow.

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