T&T murder toll rises to 263

PORT OF SPAIN — Seven murders have marred the Eid-ul-Fitr holiday weekend, pushing the murder toll to 263. These are seven more than the comparative period for 2011.

Around the same period last year, 11 people were killed between Thursday, August 18, and Sunday, August 21, with three people being shot dead on Sunday.

These killings led to the declaration by the government of a state of emergency, which lasted from August 22 to December 5.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar had announced on the night of August 21, 2011, that the country was under a limited state of emergency, beginning midnight August 22, 2011.

Today, several trade unions will stage a silent protest outside the Hall of Justice, Port of Spain, from 9 a.m. to mark the anniversary.

First victim

The first victim this past holiday weekend was Prisca Babolal, of Clear Water Gardens, Rio Claro, who was killed while paying workers their salaries around 2 p.m. on Friday.

Ayanna Williams was the next to die. She was shot dead around 3:25 a.m. on Saturday.

Police said Williams, 30, of Pelican Street Extension, Morvant, would normally tip off fellow gang members about the whereabouts of their enemies. Williams was shot 13 times and died on the spot.

Police said a man approached the small house, broke through the front door and opened fire as Williams and her boyfriend, Michael Bynoe, slept.

Arima native Israel Fernandez was the third to be killed. Fernandez was at the Guarata Village, Maracas Valley, home of his father, when around 11:30 a.m. he received a call on his cellphone.

Fernandez walked out of the house to continue the conversation, when a gunman walked up to him and opened fire. Residents heard the gunshots and, when they came outside, saw Fernandez’s body in a drain.

Fernandez’s killing was followed by that of Andel Seales. Seales was the first of four to be killed on Sunday. According to police reports, the 26-year-old Independence Avenue, San Fernando, man was stabbed in the chest by a man he knew, following an argument at a bar in the area. The incident occurred around 12:30 a.m. on Sutton Street. (Express)

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