A 47-year-old woman was among four people killed over another 24-hour period as the murder toll rose to 466.
Alicia Mohammed was shot dead at her Charlieville home by masked gunmen, in what relatives believe was a reprisal by criminal elements who accused her of being a police informant.
Officers at the Chaguanas Police Station confirmed Mohammed, of John Peter East, had made several reports of threats on her life by people she knew in the area. Mohammed was reportedly recently blamed for a police raid at a house in the area, where officers seized an undisclosed amount of cocaine. Mohammed worked as a cleaner at the Congress of the People’s (COP) Operations Centre in Charlieville.
Speaking with the T&T Guardian at their home yesterday, Mohammed’s common-law husband, Ishwar Mangalee, said they were asleep when they were awakened by a loud noise around 1 am. He said their hands were tied behind their backs and they were placed on their stomachs opposite each other on the bed.
“One of them had a gun and he kept shouting at us for money. My wife told him we had none but they kept insisting. They began to ransack the place and turn everything upside down,” Mangalee said.
“They then asked Alicia for money again and she told them that she only had $62, to take it and go but they didn’t…that was when one of them called out to the other ‘Killer, buss the cap’…then I heard a gunshot and the men ran out.”
Mangalee said he managed to untie himself and ran out the house to a nearby neighbour for help.
Asked why would anyone want Mohammed dead, he said: “I don’t know, but all I know is that she was constantly accused for being an informant.”
COP political leader Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan said Mohammed’s murder sent shock waves throughout the COP family. She added that it was “yet another cry from the citizens that this Government is failing in its fight against crime.”
“The promises of crime plans are hollow. Criminals are having a field day while law-abiding citizens are being held hostage. This grave situation must be stopped,” Seepersad-Bachan said.
Mohammed was the 46th woman to be killed for the year so far.
In another incident, the Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community is mourning the loss of transgender activist Keon Alister Patterson, also known as Sasha Fierce and Adianka Safani Mancini, who was killed in St Clair on Tuesday night. Patterson, 28, who identified himself as a woman, had copped the second runner up title in the annual Queen of Queens Pageant in October.
According to a police report, at about 11 am Patterson, originally from Tobago, was standing near Nelson Mandela Park when he was approached by two men pretending to be clients. Police said they believe after a brief confrontation Patterson was shot and left on the roadside.
In an immediate response yesterday, Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation’s (Caiso) head Colin Robinson blamed the “horrible” media reporting and social media comments on Patterson’s murder for adding more violence towards the community.
“We remember Miss Madagascar/Queen of Queens as an HIV worker, trans-advocate and star in the Friends for Life video here. Please fight together for justice for her. We’ll keep you posted about ways to do so,” Caiso wrote on its Facebook wall yesterday.
LGBT activist Anderson Bridgelal, who worked closely with Patterson, said, “Keon was much braver than I venturing into the public in gender illusion. He was a gay rights activist educating the LGBT community on HIV and STD issues along with myself and a few others.”
In two separate murders, a 37-year-old man identified as Ganesh Samaroo was chopped to death at about 8 pm on Tuesday by a male relative during an argument at his Perseverance Road, Couva home. And at about 6.30 pm that evening, the body of Bisraj Ramsaran was found near a river at Bridal Road in Cunupia. Police said his body bore chop wounds.
Investigations are continuing into all murders.