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Suspects appeared to be decent, says landlord

By Carolyn Kissoon carolyn.kissoon@trinidadexpress.com

Freeport

The landlord of an apartment buil­ding in which three men were killed in an alleged shoot-out with police on Tuesday night has said he was not aware criminal activities were taking place on the premises.
The Freeport man, who asked not to be identified, said he rented the apartment to a young couple with a baby four months ago. The couple, from Arima, had answered an advertisement in the Express, he said.

“I placed an ad in the Express and a man called. He said he was from Arima and he had a wife and child. He said they were renting a one-room apartment in Beaucarro and needed something bigger since they had a baby,” he said. The landlord said the couple, their baby and nephew occupied the apartment. He said the apartment was one of two units in an unfinished building. No one occupied the second apartment.

“There was nothing strange about this family. They were friendly and normal. I would talk to them occasionally and they were very plea­sant. So when this happened, I was very surprised,” he said.
The landlord said he obtained a copy of the nephew’s identification
card since the receipts were made out to him. “But I didn’t think a police record was necessary as the people appeared decent,” he said.

The Arima man told the landlord he worked as a PH driver while his wife was employed at a restaurant. Their nephew worked at a furniture store, he was told. “I was at home last night when I heard gunshots at the building. I stayed inside until it ended and then I saw a lot of police vehicles. People were running all around the house. I went over but the police said I could not enter the premises,” he said.
The landlord said he was not certain who was killed in the shoot-out with police. He said the woman and child were not at the house when police arrived.

The landlord’s dog, a Rottweiler named Scooby, was wounded in the shoot-out. Scooby was tied near the fence of the building. The dog was treated for a gunshot wound to the neck by a veterinarian.

The landlord said, “I did not see the bodies so I cannot say if it was the men who were staying in the apartment. I only know the ne­phew’s name, not the other one. I don’t know his correct name.” He said he was allowed to enter the property yesterday and there were bullet holes inside and outside.
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