PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, February 13, 2020 (CMC) – Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley, yesterday, described persons, engaged in committing murders, here, as “idiots”, as police continued investigations into the latest killings that have, so far, pushed the murder toll for the year to 69.
Speaking at a key handing-over ceremony for homes in Mount Hope, along the east-west corridor, Rowley said the country was waking up, almost on a daily basis, to murders.
“Today, should be a happy day for all of us, when we succeed as we (have) succeed here,” he told the new home owners, noting however, “that while the vast majority of us focus on the positives of this country and against the storm of negativity…we wake u, every morning, and some idiot has shot somebody, and the news is four dead tonight…and three dead the night before”.
“There’s a minority, in this country, who is hell bent on destroying our attempt to build a new society in Trinidad and Tobago,” he added.
He told the ceremony that a new society can be built by housing, education, industry, “but it can never be built by murder and mayhem”.
He said the time has come for there to be some introspection if progress is to be made.
“We need to take a look at ourselves. We need to take a look at our own responsibilities, at the community level, at the level of officials, who are charged with responsibility for public affairs, because we are all in this together,” he suggested.
He acknowledged that his administration does not have all the resources needed, in “order to protect and preserve… the things we aspire to, but what this government has been doing is seeking to hold all these horses together…against the single carriage of progress”.
Rowley’s statement was being made as police probed at least five murders, within the past 24 hours.
The authorities said that four men, who were inside a parked vehicle at Rancho Quemado Village, south of here, were shot and killed by unidentified gunmen, on Tuesday evening.
They said Antonio Alexander, 28; his 22-year-old brother, Shaquille Dottin; their cousin, Jabari Taylor: and 17-year-old Alifia Augustine were all killed, when the gunmen, armed with automatic guns, alighted from another vehicle and riddled the victims.
While the three relatives died at the scene, Augustine died while undergoing emergency treatment.
Police said that the wounds were so serious that an arm of one of the victims had almost been severed, and that the vehicle, in which the gunmen had arrived at the scene, was later found burnt.
Lawmen are also investigating the death of 48-year-old Brian Taitt, also known as Dog, who was shot dead at his home in Cocorite, west of here, yesterday morning.
Police said Taitt was shot, multiple times,during the early hours of Wednesday, and are yet to determine a motive for the killing. No arrests have been made in any of the killings.