Less than 24 hours after Police Commissioner Gary Griffith departed T&T for a much-needed vacation, six people were left dead and several others hospitalised during a spate of murders between Friday night and Saturday.
Griffith, who proceeded on leave from October 2 to November 1, reportedly left for Europe to spend time with his son, Gary Griffith III, who plays professional football abroad.
The killings took place in San Fernando, Arouca, Pleasantville, and La Romain.
In the first killing around 5.30 pm on October 16 police in Princes Town were called to an agricultural plot at Borde Narve Branch Road after a farmer confronted a man who had been caught stealing plantains from his garden.
It is alleged the thief was shot by the farmer who notified officers of the killing. The farmer remained detained by police up to late Saturday.
In the second incident around 5.50 pm in La Romain, police were called to the scene of a murder after the body of 42-year-old Junior Timothy was found in his vehicle along the Southern Main Road, La Romain.
Timothy, who lived at Alexander Street, was slumped in his grey Hyundai Tucson. He had been shot once in the head.
In the third incident around 7 pm, a Pleasantville man was killed during a drive-by shooting.
Victor Stewart, 28, of Xenia Drive, died behind the wheel of his Nissan Tiida after a vehicle pulled alongside them as they drove along Lord Street, San Fernando, and the occupants opened fire on them.
As Stewart slumped dead, the car crashed into a gate.
His two friends, a 33-year-old and a 17-year-old from Pleasantville were also injured.
Both were taken to the San Fernando General Hospital where they were treated and discharged.
Meanwhile, the fourth murder occurred just before midnight on Friday as the body of Arouca resident Kerwin Lewis, 30, was found near his home at Savannah Trace, Garden Village.
Relatives reported hearing loud explosions around 11.45 pm and upon checking, they found his body lying on a dirt track leading to a vacant lot of land used for farming.
It is believed that Lewis was killed for being a police informant. Officers retrieved six spent shells and one live round at the scene.
Rounding out the six murders within the 24 hours were victims 62-year-old Carlyle Peter Brown of Southern Main Road, La Romain, and 27-year-old Kern Cuffy of George Street, La Romain, who died instantly after gunmen opened fire as they were playing cards.
The two victims had been seated in Cuffy’s gallery when the killers who were wearing hoodies, walked up and shot them both around 12.15 am Saturday.
Cuffy was shot in the abdomen while Brown was shot in the head.
Cuffy’s neighbours, a 34-year-old woman and a 55-year-old man, were also shot. They were taken to the San Fernando General Hospital for treatment.
The man was treated and discharged while the woman remained warded up to late Saturday.