TWO murders occurred about an hour apart on Sunday night in the east Port of Spain and Laventille areas, leaving two families in anguish and bringing the year's murder toll to three, according to an Express tally.
The first incident occurred at 8.15 p.m. when residents of the George Street and Duncan Street, Port of Spain "Plannings" heard several gunshots.
When they came out to investigate they found the body of Hassan Combie, 23, lying face down in a grassy common area between both sets of apartments.
Combie was the father of one boy and his girlfriend is pregnant with another child.
The Express met his relatives yesterday at the Forensic Science Centre, Federation Park, where a post-mortem examination had been done, which concluded that he died as a result of three gunshots he received.
His relatives did not want to be named for fear of being attacked themselves.
They said, however, that since last year members of a gang in the area had been attempting to recruit him but he always refused.
His relatives admitted that he had two narcotics-related matters pending in Port of Spain Magistrates' Court, but he was a "quiet, loving young man who was not into the gang thing".
They explained that last year when gang shootings were quite rampant in the area, several gang members of opposing sides wanted him in their ranks, but, according to the family, his refusal to join any of them was the most probable motive behind his death.
Around 9 p.m., the second murder occurred at Eastern Quarry in Laventille.
The victim's name was Akeem McDowell, aged 20.
Police said McDowell and a group of his friends were liming in the area when a car stopped near them, one of its occupants got out and opened fire, hitting McDowell several times about the body.
The Express attempted to interview his relatives at the Forensic Centre yesterday but they said they had nothing to say.
Police described the murder as gang-related.