PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, April 23, 2019 (CMC) – Trinidad and Tobago’s murder toll, for the year, so far, climbed to 158, after nine people were killed, during the Easter holiday weekend, the police have confirmed.
The death toll stood at 150 for the corresponding period, last year.
The murders, here, forced Jamaican reggae superstar, Buju Banton, to ask Trinidadians “what is going on?” in the oil-rich, twin-island republic.
“All this murder. Not just regular murder, but butcher shop murder,” he told the audience at his “I am Legend” show at the Queen’s Park Savanah, on Sunday night.
Police said that they were still trying to identify the bodies of two people, who were shot, following the Banton concert.
They said the two were found in a vehicle in Laventille, east of here, and may have been killed, after dropping home someone in that volatile area and may not have been recognised, as being regular residents in the area.
Police said five people were killed on Sunday night.
They said Khelon “Kokey” McLeod, 27, was shot, multiple times, by a gunman, not far from his home, while at an Easter gathering in Tunapuna, east of here.
The authorities are also investigating the murder of 30-year-old Fabian “Bucker” Thomas, who was shot, by gunmen in a drive by shooting, in Santa Cruz, which lies in the Northern Range; while 36-year-old Patrick Ian Aaron, also known as “Trickson”, was found dead, by other residents, after they heard a volley of explosions in the La Horquetta area, along the east-west corridor.
The police are also probing the death of 27-year-old Israel Cox, who was one of four people shot during a drive-by shooting in the capital, on Saturday evening.
Two other people, Aria Haynes, 29, and Jevon Assing, 35, were also shot during that incident, and pronounced dead at the hospital on Saturday night. The fourth victim, 26-year-old Akeem Grant, is hospitalised, in a critical condition.
The authorities said that Mariba Superville, 27, was shot dead, on Saturday night, in Carenage, west of here.
The murders come, even as the police had announced that they had moved the country’s alert state, from amber to red.
“What we have seen, over the last few days, with the increase from amber to red, is that there have been over 160 persons arrested; there have been hundreds of warrants executed; and hundreds of roadblocks and patrols, with high visibility,” Police Commissioner, Gary Griffith, said in a radio interview.