Trinidad – Murder at mosque
Man shot dead on way to prayer
PORT OF SPAIN – What was supposed to have been a night of peaceful prayer filled with love for Allah on a Ramadan night at a mosque on Wednesday was shattered with the murder of a worshipper.
Daniel Bostic was about to step into the historic San Fernando Jama Masjid for a Ramadan prayer service and was greeting fellow worshippers when he was shot three times.
The 28-year-old father of two, of Drayton Street, San Fernando, later died at hospital.
Bostic was the son of well-known People’s National Movement (PNM) activist Marva Bostic.
Bostic was walking up the steps to the prayer room of the mosque when a lone gunman walked up behind him and fired.
Marva Bostic said: “I heard the final prayer of the night was called and Daniel was going up the stairs of the mosque. The gunman was right at his side, and the next thing was bullet. The gunman was mingling in the crowd. The gunman shot in his side and he fell back, injuring another brother’s hand. The gunman came over him and shot him in his head and his chest.”
His sister, Keisha, said her brother would often call her from the mosque. She said when she checked her cellphone that night, she realised she had missed a call from him at 7.34 p.m.
She said when she listened to the voicemail, “All I heard was gunshots.”
Witnesses told police worshippers scampered to their cars, and adults and children who were inside the mosque locked themselves into a room.
A witness said: “People were crying and panicking. Plenty people ran to their cars. People who were upstairs and the children ran to a room in the back and locked it. He was still breathing when police arrived on the scene.”
The killer is believed to have escaped in a waiting vehicle.
Bostic was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital and died while he was being treated.
Early yesterday, police searched areas of Embacadere, San Fernando, looking for suspects, and up to late last night, no one was held for the killing.
An autopsy was performed yesterday at the Forensic Science Centre in Federation Park.
Police said Bostic had pending matters in court for possession of ammunition.
Hours after the murder, officers of the San Fernando CID and Southern Division Task Force carried out raids in San Fernando, but police said the exercises were pre-planned and not directly linked to the search for the killer.
A senior police detective said police intended to increase patrols near the mosque to ensure the security of its members.
At Bostic’s home, Marva and Keisha Bostic said they believed he began following Islam about four years ago.
“I was not happy at first. We hear so many negatives about the Muslim religion, so it was a learning curve for me. When he became involved, I said, ‘Daniel, this thing has police in it. Police don’t like Muslim fellas and especially black Muslims’,” Marva Bostic said. “But when he joined the faith, the liming and drinking stopped. I watched him grow in the faith and appreciated it.”
The mother said her son did not tell anyone if he had received death threats.
She said on June 19, he told her he visited a mosque in Enterprise, Chaguanas, with other members of the mosque at Mucurapo Street.
“I cannot make sense of what happened. I am hoping to dream dreams and have visions of him telling me something about this,” she said. “If he had threats, he would go up to the person and confront them. Daniel was brave like that,” she said.
Bostic said her son was the owner of a construction company, and he had a job to do renovation work on houses in Golconda.
“I know he had fired four employees and had an altercation with one of them earlier this year,” said Bostic.
His funeral was arranged for today at 1.30 p.m. at the San Fernando Jama Masjid, and then burial at Paradise Cemetery.
The murder takes the toll up to July 2, 2015, to 193, compared with 214 for the same period last year.