Police and soldiers are being urged to increase their surveillance in the Mercer Road, Pierre Felix Road and surrounding streets of Diego Martin with a view to diffusing the gang culture which has long plagued the area.
“There are two warring gangs in that area on the hill and the police don’t even go up there. Nobody goes to that area,” a resident, who requested anonymity, told the Sunday Newsday yesterday. He was commenting in the aftermath of the killing of four people, including that of three family members, which rattled the Diego Martin area on Friday evening
The resident, who claims to have knowledge of the gang activity in the area, told Sunday Newsday, the gang members were equipped with AK47 guns and other high-powered ammunition, “but the police can’t catch anybody because they (gang members) can see them coming up the hill from a distance and they just run into the mountains.”
He said Andrew Ross, who was shot and killed on Sierra Leone Road on Friday evening, was not related to the three family members, Theresa Nelson, her husband George James and their son Timothy James, who suffered the same fate.
Reports are that Ross, 17, a student of Servol, was gunned down along Sierra Leone Road at about 4.25 pm on Friday. Minutes later, at about 5pm, police discovered the bullet-riddled bodies of Nelson, 55, and her husband, 50, and son, 32, at their home on Pierre Felix Road.
Two people are also warded at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital with multiple gunshot wounds following the brazen killings.
The resident said Ross had gone to see a girl at a nearby meeting at the Police Youth Club when he met his death.
“He was tracking a girl at the Police Youth Club,” resident said. The resident claimed when Ross went to see the girl, members of a gang spotted him from the hill.
“They called their driver and went down there and riddled him with bullets,” he said.
“Word got out to the other drug block and there was a big shoot-out.”
The resident said the gangs later clashed along the Diego Martin Main Road.
“There was a big shoot-out. That is what people saw and one of the persons got shot in the leg,” he said.
He said the gang members then went up the hill in search of a member of the rival gang and, in a clear act of reprisal, killed Timothy James. The young man’s parents also paid a hefty price as their lives were also snuffed out.
Yesterday, an eerie silence pervaded the atmosphere at Pierre Felix Road as residents tried to come to terms with the grisly killings, but refused to talk about the circumstances which led to the deaths of Nelson and her family. One resident, though, who wished to remain anonymous, said Nelson did not deserve to die in such a tragic manner.
“She never used to interfere with anybody,” she said.
The woman said she was still shaken up by the incident and called for an end to the killing spree.
Meanwhile, Deputy Police Commissioner Mervyn Richardson said several suspects were being interrogated by police and arrests were imminent.
“We have assembled a team of police, army and cost guard officers who are pursuing a line of information and we hope to arrest those responsible in the shortest possible time,” he said, adding that more police resources have also been deployed to the Western Division.
Richardson urged those responsible for the killings to surrender to the police. Detectives from the Homicide Investigations Bureau detectives and Western Division Police are investigating.