A 12-year-old boy screamed in agony as he hugged and caressed his mother’s body after gunmen shot her dead in Santa Cruz on Tuesday.
Candy Ann Mc Intyre, 36, whose testimony led to the conviction of three men for murder, had moments before attended her son’s graduation at a nearby event’s centre and was waiting for her husband to pick her up.
Police said around 2.45 pm, Mc Intyre, of Quarry Road, San Juan was standing at the side of Santa Barbara Boulevard with her son when a white wagon which had been parked waiting drove closer.
Occupants of the car, armed with high-powered rifles, opened fire killing the mother of four instantly.
Investigators said the woman was shot multiple times to the head and upper body and fell face first. Her son was not injured in the attack.
A heart-wrenching video recorded moments after the incident showed the boy caressing his mother’s body as he cried uncontrollably. His piercing screams echoed throughout the area.
An eyewitness told Guardian Media yesterday that they noticed the wagon parked on a corner for some time before the murder.
“It happened quick...we hear real shots. We really notice the car parked up but didn’t think anything of it. Strange yes, but nothing much. It real shocking and sad. Look how the boy bawling for his mother,” the eyewitness said.
Mc Intyre’s husband, Wendell said his son called him and told him that “somebody now kill mammy.”
“I was in town and had the chance to reach here before the ambulance. I don’t even have a siren on my car and reach before most of these police and the ambulance. Man, they telling me they can’t move her. But they want to feel for a pulse. Well pick her up and carry she in hospital, nah boy,” an emotional Wendell said as he related the first few minutes after he arrived on the scene.
He said he had spoken to his wife minutes before she was killed.
“She called me, you know. She say they done and thing. So everything was normal. Then my son called back to say, ‘Daddy, daddy they shoot mammy.’
The father said he was thankful his son was unhurt.
He said he was told that “big machine guns” were used in the attack. Regarding the murder case she was a witness in, her husband would only say it was “an old case” about 15 years ago. Guardian Media was told that Mc Intyre’s evidence lead to the conviction of three men but the Privy Council subsequently ordered that two of them face a retrial. Investigating police officers did not disclose any further details of the murder case.
Counsellors attached to the T&T Police Service’s Victim Support Unit were called in to provide professional support and counselling for the victim’s son.
This is the third gun attack involving children in the past week.
On Monday, a ten-year-old girl was shot and wounded while seated in a relative’s car on the busy Port-of-Spain streets as a gunman made an alleged attempt on her father’s life while parked along Duncan Street. She remained in stable condition at the hospital last night.
That shooting occurred just six days after three pupils were shot at during a drive-by shooting on Belmont Circular Road.
Last week Wednesday two of the injured school girls, aged six and 15, were also said to be the children of a known gang leader, escaped serious injury but the driver of the vehicle they were in was shot as well as an 18-year-old girl.
That shooting took place outside the Providence Girls’ Catholic School at about 2.40 pm, less than 200 metres from the Belmont Police Station.
The target in that incident was identified as a 38-year-old man of Maracas.
He was shot as he drove a white Hilux vehicle but managed to run from the vehicle and escape.
The gunmen opened fire on the vehicle on a busy street as the school day ended.
Their bullets struck other parked vehicles along the roadway as several school children and other pedestrians scampered for cover.
On May 5, a 22-year-old State witness in a Morvant double murder was shot and killed as she attended a friend’s birthday party in Barataria. In that incident, police said Veronica Franco was killed at Twelfth Street, Barataria at around 8 pm.
Three days after that murder, on May 8—13 people from a well-known gang in the Northern Division, who were found lurking around the Tunapuna Magistrates’ Court were arrested in connection with a plot to murder a State witness as he was about to leave the court.
The State witness, 38, gave evidence in an attempted murder which occurred in 2015 in St Joseph where the victim was shot after a funeral. The suspects were subsequently released.
The murder toll now stands at 243 for the year so far.
An autopsy is expected to be done on Mc Intyre’s body at the Forensic Science Centre on Friday.