A preliminary investigation suggests that schoolboy Akil Phillip may have been killed because of an “incident” he may have witnessed and recorded on his cellphone.
This was hinted by the Minister of National Security Stuart Young during a media conference on Tuesday where he spoke of legislation coming to help deal with the eradication of illegal guns off of the streets of T&T.
Young when asked about Phillip’s murder, extended condolences to the bereaved family and added that there is the belief that he would have captured a recording on his phone of illegal activity.
Phillip, 16, a pupil of St Anthony’s College in Diego Martin was shot three times near his home at Block 22, Laventille last Friday. His $1,500 cellphone was stolen.
Laventille West MP Fitzgerald Hinds also commented on the schoolboy’s murder during an interview on CNC3’s Morning Brew programme.
Hinds called for a lockdown of the area by police officers. He said he recognised the hard work of the police officers night and day in trying to bring law and order to the community but said that they ought to do more in finding the illegal guns and getting it off the streets.
“My concern is the guns…police have been finding the guns and detecting but I want to see more aggressive and intelligence-driven exercises being done by the police in getting the guns out,” Hinds said.
“Let them lock it down…many of the people there will welcome it because these guns are causing trauma,” he added.
Speaking with the Guardian Media, under strict condition of anonymity yesterday, a police officer who engages in community activities in the area said that he believes that the child’s killer is known by villagers.
However, the officer added that because of fear “the silence is deafening.”
“The people still have to live there and they are afraid that if they protest over the child’s killing that they too will be killed. If they squeal on the killer that there would be repercussions, so the safest thing for them to do is to remain silent. People know but they are very afraid,” the officer said.
Phillip’s funeral is carded for Friday.