THE murder toll has risen to nine for the first three days of the new year after two more men were shot dead on Thursday night.
One of the men attempted to escape his killers after their handgun failed to fire, but he was pursued and killed less than two hours later in Belmont.
For the same period last year, the country had recorded one murder in Laventille.
The latest incidents that claimed the lives of Nicholas “Mentos” Kerr, 22, and Wallace Guy, 23, took place at Boxhill Trace, Trou Macaque, Laventille, and St Francois Valley Road in Belmont.
It was around 8.45 p.m.—while the men were liming by a basketball court close to Guy’s Boxhill Trace home—that a white Nissan Tiida motor car approached and one of the occupants opened fire, police reported.
Guy, a “PH” taxi-driver and father of two, was shot several times about the body and was pronounced dead at the scene.
After shooting Guy, police said the gunman turned his weapon on Kerr, but the firearm jammed.
Kerr, police said, saw the opportunity to escape by getting into his vehicle and speeding off. His escape, however, was short-lived, as he was pursued by the gunmen who blocked the path of his vehicle along St Francois Valley Road around 10 p.m., said investigators.
Kerr, of Red Hill in Laventille, was shot multiple times about the body while seated in his car, said officers.
Both police and relatives of the dead men yesterday remained unclear over why they were murdered. Officers said they did not have a motive for the killings, as the men were not known to be involved in criminal activities.
At the Forensic Science Centre in St James yesterday, Kerr’s relatives said “something drastic” has to be done for the authorities to get a hold on crime.
The relatives, who did not want to be named, said Kerr was a mechanic and plumber who had a love for music. “He loved to install music and so on in cars,” they said.
One of his uncles, who did not want to be named, said the last time he spoke with Kerr was on New Year’s Day. He said that night, Kerr had attended a car show at Boxhill Trace. “So I do not know if something happened there that night that caused his death, but he was never a troublemaker. In his 22 years of life, we never heard his name called in anything illegal,” said the man.
Guy’s brother, who also did not want his name used, said Guy would have celebrated his birthday next Wednesday. He too said his brother was not involved in any criminal activities.
“He was a ‘PH’ taxi-driver and was always working that car to provide for his two children. I know when people get killed, the first thing some family members say is that they were not involved in any gang or criminal activities, but this really was the case for my brother,” he said.