Sunday, February 25, 2018

Three killed in 15 hours

Blood of Trinidad and To­ba­­go citizens continued to flow on its roadways as with in 15 hours, three brutal mur­ders were committed, pushing the murder toll for the year so far to 153—35 more than last year at the same time. 

Between 11.30 p.m. on Wednesday and 2.40 p.m. yesterday, 43-year-old Michael Heera­lal, 46-year-old Fabien London and 31-year-old Ronnie Thomas were killed in separate incidents in Caroni, Arima and Maraval. 

Senior police officials des­cribed as “bold-faced” the decision of one of the killers to shoot his victim outside the Arima Magistrates’ Court yesterday mor­­ning.

“The utter disrespect that persons would have shown in this incident, to commit such an act outside of a courthouse where there are uniformed police officers around, plain as day, is just incomprehensible to me,” explained (ACP) Assistant Commissioner of Police Homicide Wayne Dick. 

At the time, he was overseeing investigations into the death of Fabien “Dolchan” London. 

According to police reports, at about 9.30 a.m. yesterday, London had exited the magistrates’ court and was standing along Prince Street, Arima, when he was approached by two men. 

One of the men exchanged a few words with London before he pulled out a firearm and shot the 46-year-old several times about his body, in view of London’s family, commu­ters, lawyers and policemen. 

The gunmen then attempted to flee the scene on foot, however, several offi­cers of the Court and Process Branch and the Arima Police Station who were at the courthouse at the time gave chase. 

The officers caught up to one of the suspects along Sorzano Street, and the 24-year-old, who is said to be from Maloney, was detained. He was bleeding from gunshot injuries about his body as he had been shot by the policemen during the chase. 

The suspect was rushed to the Arima District Medical Facility before being transferred to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, where up till late yesterday, he was said to be in a stable condition under police guard. 

The other man escaped.

A party of officers from the Northern Division and the Homicide Bureau of Investigations, including ACP Dick, ACP Glenda Jennings-Smith, Senior Su­per­inten­dent David Abraham, ASP Greenwich, Inspector Si­mon, Inspector Maharaj and Sergeant Garcia visited the scene. 

The area was cordoned off and crime scene investigators reportedly recovered several spent shells.

A district medical offi­cer visited the area and ordered the body removed to the Forensic Science Cen­tre in Federation Park where an autop-

sy was performed yesterday.

ACP Jennings-Smith and Sr Sup Abraham also condemned the “brazen” and “disrespectful” actions of the assailants, saying it showed criminals had lost all respect for court and country. 

The senior officers also commended the actions of the policemen who chased after the suspects. 

“To chase after the suspects mere moments after the shooting took place, not knowing if they had more ammunition or another gun, or anything which could be harmful to their lives—this is something that has to be recognised and commended. The Lord was with the policemen as they were not hit by the gunman. 

“Another individual has been linked to this incident and he did manage to evade the officers, however, we have certain information, and he will be apprehended soon,” Abraham noted. 

Relatives at the scene told the Express London was a father of four who was a “cool-going” and “private” person. 

Police sources said London was known to them as he had ongoing matters before the court, and they believe his killing was linked to a recent homicide in the Western Division. 

Investigations are continuing.

Less than six hours after this incident, St Clair police received a report the body of a man was lying on the pavement of the westbound lane of Long Circular Road, Maraval, in the vi­ci­nity of the Country Club. 

Police received the report at about 2.40 p.m. and rushed to the scene. They found the body of 31-year-old Ronnie Thomas, of Dibe Road, St James, lying on the pavement. 

Thomas bore multiple gunshot injuries to his head. The injured man was rushed to the Port of Spain General Hospital, however, he was pronounced dead on arrival. 

Police sources said Tho­mas was well known to them as he had previous court matters and was a suspect in several other cases. 

Thomas’ relatives however disputed this, saying he was a quiet and caring father who did his best to provide for his two young daughters. 

Police are continuing en­quiries. 

And at about 11.45 p.m. on Wednesday, relatives of Michael Heeralal, of Ruby Lane, La Paille Gardens, Caroni, reportedly heard several loud explosions. 

They found the body of the 43-year-old lying across a drain opposite his home, with gunshot wounds to his neck and back. 

The police were contac­ted and officers from the Central Division Task Force, including Inspector Teesdale, PC Ramdial and WPC McClean, responded. 

Heeralal, police said, was the watchman employed to protect equipment at the construction site of a school opposite his home. 

Investigations are continuing.