Gang violence has claimed two more lives while a third man is in a critical condition following a shooting incident on the highway near the Brian Lara Stadium yesterday morning.
Dead are Enrique Gill, 27, also known as Sponge Bob, of Fitzie Drive, Freeport and Enreque Mendoza, of London Street, Longdenville, while their friend Trevin Alexander, 27, also of Longdenville, is fighting for his life at the San Fernando General Hospital.
They had just left the Stink & Dutty fete at the Brian Lara Stadium near Tarouba and heading to their respective homes when police said they were ambushed on the highway.
In a video, Gill was seen with a group of men dancing during the fete at the stadium near Tarouba.
The fete, which attracted thousands of people, was advertised from 3 am to 9 am. The stadium is parallel to the southbound lane of the Solomon Hochoy Highway.
Gill was driving a black Toyota Altis and Alexander was in the front passenger seat. Mendoza was seated behind the driver’s seat.
Police said no eyewitnesses came forward, but bullet holes on the right side of the vehicle suggest that Gill was driving on the left lane.
They believe the gunmen drove alongside the right side of the Altis around 10.40 am and opened fire just before the stadium.
The gunmen pursed them for over 200 metres before the Altis ran off the road into some bushes.
The incident created a back up of traffic along the highway.
A graphic video showing Alexander lying face down in the grass and the bodies of the dead men went viral on social media.
Eventually, relatives gathered at the scene but they were too distraught to speak with the media.
As of last evening there were 10 murders from Friday to Monday and 27 for the month of June while a total of 249 were murdered for the year.
Officers of the Homicide Bureau of Investigations Region 3 are investigating.
Jacob: Police working to rid country of gang violence
Acting Police Commissioner Mc Donald Jacob who was at the scene assured that the police were working on ridding the nation of the scourge of gang violence.
He said, “Again it is definitely a sign of gang violence taking place. The persons who are the deceased are mainly from the Port-of-Spain area and the information that came to hand that they were returning from some party or fete at the Brian Lara Stadium and then they were in fact intercepted by another vehicle and there were several shots and the vehicle ran off the road which caused the death of the two persons,” he explained.
He noted, however, that this was the eighth murder in south Trinidad that had “no relation to south.”
“Sometime earlier this year we had a similar incident with persons who are involved in gang activities and there was a double murder at one of the malls in San Fernando. So we are seeing that persons are being targeted outside the normal areas of the gang operations and as they leave and they come into the other areas which appear to be in some instances more vulnerable and accessible, we are getting these murders.”
Saying he is very much concerned about the murders in south, he said investigators were in an intelligence meeting regarding the recent double murder in Moruga when they were informed about this incident.
“It is tough for the officers and we want to provide them with all the necessary support that is needed so that we can bring these such murders to some measure of closure,” he said. However, he assured that the police were working to getting rid of “constant scourge” affecting the nation.
“Again, I want to give the public the assurance that the police officers and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service as the whole will in fact bring this situation to some level of normalcy,” he added.
He also noted that the double murder in Malabar was “directly linked to gang violence and reprisal for an incident that occurred two weeks ago.
Jacob said the police continue to experience situations where gang violence would decrease, but then it would rise again.
He added that another aspect is the removal of illegal guns off the streets. So far for the year the police have seized 315 firearms.
“But we all agree that is not enough taking in consideration from an estimate given by our main agency that we need to do more and continue this initiative in the removal of firearms from the street,” he added.