Although the movement of the majority of citizens continues to be affected by the Stay-at-Home measures, the spate of murders continued yesterday with five people killed, including two separate double murder incidents, in less than 24 hours.
Two headless were found in Guapo on Wednesday evening, Sangre Grande resident Shameed Ali was found with his head bashed in and brother and sister Vishal and Vishanie Chitbahal were shot dead during a home invasion in Couva.
In the latest incident in Couva, residents of Winsdor Park were awakened by the sound of gunshots around 5.30 am.
According to police, Anne Chitbahal, 46, the mother of Vishal and Vishanie, got up to start breakfast at their Sand Road home around that time.
But just as she was about to start kneading flour to make a roti, a masked gunman entered their pink wooden shack and demanded to see Vishanie. During the commotion, two other men entered the house and Vishal was alerted.
The gunmen later shot Vishanie in the chest and she died on the spot while Vishal was shot in the upper left shoulder. Vishal was taken to the Couva District Hospital where he died around 6.30 am.
At the scene yesterday, the victims’ aunt Louann Moonilal said she was deeply hurt by the double murder. She said she saw no reason why anyone would want to shoot the siblings, whom she described at quiet people.
“I never knew my front yard would be a crime scene investigation for two soft-spoken children growing up in the community. It’s shocking,” she said, noting they kept to themselves.
“It’s the only two children for their parents, who are in a mess. When I got there my niece was already on the ground. COVID lockdown because they want people to wear mask and you can’t identify people.”
Investigations are being undertaken by the Homicide Bureau South.
In the second incident, a Sangre Grande man who left his house to harvest some yams to prepare a meal was found with his head bashed in and shot in the chest a day later.
When Shameed Ali, 46, left his Barker Trace, Coalmine, Sangre Grande home on Wednesday, he told his father Shaffick, 70, he had already seasoned chicken for a meal and would fetch the yams after tending to his cows two miles away.
However, relatives mounted a search after he failed to return home and they eventually found him dead yesterday morning. The left side of his head had been bashed in and he had a gunshot wound to his chest.
Ali’s death shocked the village and when Guardian Media visited yesterday many people were gathered at the family home offering condolences.
His sister Sharfeea said her brother was hard-working and looked after 13 cows in the nearby lagoon in addition to doing construction work. She said he was well-known in the village as a disciplined and likeable person.
Police said around 7.30 am yesterday, Ali’s younger brother Ashmeed reported his death at the Sangre Grande Police Station. Ashmeed told the officers family and friends started a search after his father said he had not seen him since Wednesday. Ali was found by one of his relatives along a track in a forested area off Barker Trace.
A party of officers led by ASP Gabriel Joseph, Sgt Keith Castro Leon and officers from Arouca Homicide Bureau Region II were later taken to the scene by Ali’s relatives. Officers said they believe Ali was beaten and then shot by his attacker/s.
District Medical Officer Dr Nzedinma viewed the body and ordered its removal to Forensic Science Centre, St James, for an autopsy.
PC Lopez of Arouca Homicide Bureau Region II is continuing investigation.
And finally, police have not yet identified the bodies of two people found in a forested area in Guapo on Wednesday evening.
According to police, around 4.30 pm on Wednesday, PC Williams and WPC Jameson were on patrol in the Guapo area when a resident alerted them that two bodies were seen off Lime Field Road in Cochrane Village.
The resident took the officers about a mile into a forested area where the badly decomposed bodies were found. Both bodies were decapitated.
There were reports on social media yesterday which identified the two victims as an 18-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man who were said to have been reported missing several days ago.
But yesterday police said the gender of the victims could not be determined due to the state of decomposition.
Police said while going to the scene they found a man with a shotgun and ammunition and he was arrested. However, they have not yet linked the man to the discovery of the bodies.