THE mother of murdered soldier Lance Corporal Kayode Thomas said yesterday she often tried to make a positive difference in her community and “this is the thanks that I get.”
She, as well as other relatives of Thomas, who gathered near his apartment at Beverly Hills, John John, during a wake for the 33-year-old father of eight did not want to be identified by name for this story.
The Express visited where Thomas lived yesterday but was told that although Beverly Hills was his home after the family moved from Canada, Laventille, when their apartment burned down a few years ago, he spent many nights at the home of the mothers of his children.
As they recalled Thomas enjoyed going to fetes and taking boat-rides where he “could give all them woman competition with he wining skills.”
His mother said, “Right now all I want to do is laugh because come Monday (the planned date of his funeral) it will be different.”
Thomas’s cousin claimed that it was not a Beverly Hills, John John, gang who murdered Thomas but rather a gang from Block Eight which is located a short distance from Beverly Hills who would sneak into their community, shoot at people and then have the blame fall on alleged gang members from Beverly Hills.
She said that a gang from Beverly Hills would not shoot at a soldier as it would “bring too much heat.”
She said gang members from Block Eight were now lying in wait for any strange car that drove through the community. She said late Sunday night as Thomas approached the entrance of a Housing Development Corporation (HDC) complex at Beverly Hills his car was shot at 32 times because they thought it was someone else.
She said that while he drove through the area he blasted the music in his car so loudly he probably had no idea he was being shot at.
Police however believe that Thomas was shot because he was a soldier and within the last three weeks both the police and regiment have had running gun battles with East Port of Spain, John John and Laventille gunmen which left approximately four men dead.
What followed were threats from the friends of these alleged gunmen one of whom claimed that while the police “signed for their guns, they did not.”
According to police reports, at about 11.30 p.m. on Sunday, Thomas, while off duty, was driving his silver Mazda 323 motor vehicle north along Plaisance Quarry Road, John John, when residents of the area heard several loud explosions.
Upon checking they observed that Thomas’s vehicle had crashed along the roadway and that it bore several bullet holes to the front windscreen and bonnet.
Thomas’s body was slumped against the front passenger seat of the vehicle.