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Four more shot dead

Law enforcement officers conduct a roadblock exercise on the Eastern Main Road, Laventille, on Tuesday night after 24-year-old Nigel Caesar was reportedly shot at Block 8 by police officers who claimed they acted in self-defence.

PORT OF SPAIN — Four men were murdered in separate shootings in Laventille, Morvant and Rio Claro within 24 hours of National Security Minister Jack Warner’s announcement of a reduction in the crime rate.

Those killed have been identified as:

* Marcus Garcia, 33, Roble Grove Road, Rio Claro;

* Michael Rigault, 46, of Cross Road, Brooklyn, Laventille;

* Charles Alexis, 34, of Bowen Trace, Laventille; and

* Marvin Brewster, 36, of Hall’s Lane, Pelican Extension, Morvant.

Up to late yesterday the murder toll stood at 269 for the year. While speaking at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Warner announced several statistics which he said showed the crime rate was “not as grim as it seemed”. Warner was quoted as saying there were 262 murders between January and Tuesday, an almost three per cent reduction compared to the same period last year.

“It is no comfort that there were eight less murders this year… the point I am making is that it is not as bad as it seems,” he said. In the first of the four murders, which occurred around 10.30 pm on Tuesday, Garcia was shot dead as he sat in his car outside his relative’s home in Rio Claro. Residents of Laventille were yesterday awoken by gunshots which signalled the first of two murders which were recorded in the area yesterday.

According to police reports around 6 am, residents of Cross Road, Laventille, reported hearing a series of gunshots. During a search of their community residents found Rigault lying face down in a track with gunshot wounds to his head. He died on the scene. Almost six hours later, homicide detectives were summoned to Laventille for a second time, after Alexis was shot dead while plying his car for hire along Laventille Road.

Alexis, a father of one, was said to be driving around 1:30 p.m., when the lone passenger in his car said he wanted to be dropped near to Rudolph Charles Link Road. Before leaving the vehicle, the passenger drew a firearm and shot Alexis twice in the head. He too died on the scene of the shooting. Investigators said Rigault was not known to be involved in criminal activity but noted he was detained in the past for petty criminal offences. (Guardian)

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