The fast life of Luke Adams ended on Thursday in a hail of bullets. It began when he started associating with people known to be criminals.
Adams’ father yesterday told reporters, while awaiting the results of his son’s autopsy at the Forensic Science Centre (FSC) in St James, that the 19-year-old got caught up in the “gangsta lifestyle” and may have been killed for associating with members of rival gangs.
“He wasn’t a bad boy to say he was holding a gun or shooting anybody,” said Bertram Adams. “But he would roll with the bad boys and them. Even when he was rolling with them he wasn’t doing anything. But that is how you put yourself in danger.”
As a young boy growing up in Desperlie Crescent, Laventille, Adams was always surrounded by crime and criminal elements. Adams’ father said crime had got so bad in his area that he had to teach Adams and his other siblings what to do in the event there was a shooting and he was not around.
“Shooting was taking place one day and a bullet hit the galvanise on the house. That day I realised I could be out working and one of them could get shot. So I taught all of them, as soon as they hear gunshots fire, everyone lie flat on the ground and don’t get up until the gunshots stop. I told them doing that could save their lives.”
When he wasn’t living in a danger zone, Luke Adams was going to school at Mucurapo East Secondary. It was here family members believe he began developing a taste for the fast life. Girls, money, and brand-name clothing became his three favourite things, and he showed little to no interest in programmes that his parents tried to put him in, like the Cadet Force.
Eventually the constant danger of living on Desperlie Crescent became too much for Adams’ family and they moved to Pleasantville, San Fernando.
But when Adams left school two years ago, he began complaining that life in southern Trinidad was “too slow.” Against his parents’ advice, he would sneak out of their Pleasantville home and go into Port of Spain, where he would lime with criminals from Nelson Street and other parts of East Port of Spain. About a year ago, he began liming with criminal elements from the Mango Rose area. There has been an ongoing conflict between gang members from Mango Rose and a gang from Nelson Street.
“I spoke to him more than 1,000 times. I do all kind of thing; I pull the devil by the tail and all to try to get him to settle down at home. You would tell him not to do something and he would say, ‘Yes, Daddy’ — but once your back turn, he would do the opposite. His mother told him don’t go to town: when her back turn, he would go his way. When he ready he would come home, spend a weekend, and when no one looking, boom, he gone again.
“I actually went myself in these areas to try and get him out. Men pull gun at me. They asked me who is me. When I say, ‘Luke father,’ they say, ‘Oh, well, you don’t come in here just so.’ That was a couple months ago.”
At about midday on Thursday, Luke and an unidentified passenger were in a blue Mitsubishi Lancer driving along Duke Street, Port of Spain when, seemingly out of nowhere, a gunman opened fire on the car near the All Stars panyard.
Adams tried to escape, but was shot four times. His car swerved and crashed into a traffic light on the corner of Duke and Charlotte Streets.
Adams died on the spot. The other man, who was wounded, was taken to hospital and is still there.
Eyewitnesses said the gunman ran off in the direction of the Nelson Street Complex.