[www.inewsguyana.com] – Trinidad Express – With ten murders being recorded in the first four days of the new year, the Ministry of National Security yesterday escalated the alert state of all law enforcement agencies with immediate effect.
This increase was in direct response to the spike in gang-related homicides, a release from the National Security Ministry stated yesterday.
Between Saturday evening and early yesterday morning, four more men were shot dead in separate incidents in Carenage, Biche, San Juan and St James.
The release stated the measures to be used during the hightened alert state include increased visibility of joint police and army patrols throughout the country; increased air patrols and surveillance in support of the Police Service’s ground initiatives; increased roadblocks and stop-and-search activities; and increased intelligence and surveillance exercises, specifically in all crime hotspots and among persons of interest.
It stated that the current alert state of readiness, which is led by the Police Service and the National Operations Centre, is not intended to curtail civil liberties but has become necessary to ensure the safety and security of citizens.
“The general public is kindly asked to comply with all instructions of law enforcement personnel, especially when stopped and questioned during this time,” the release stated.
The latest murder victims have since been identified by police as Sean Carrabayo, 18; Krisendath Mahabir, 54; Roger Frederick, 38; and Levi Snaggs, 33.
Police officers have classified the murders of Carrabayo and Snaggs as gang-related, while up to press time last night there were no motives for the killing of Mahabir and Frederick.
In the first incident, officers said Carrabayo, of Anowsville Road, Point Cumana, was playing cards with a group of men at the corner of Rodney Street and Western Main Road, Carenage, around 5 p.m. Saturday when he received a telephone call.
Carrabayo, police said, left the game and walked across the road to answer the call when a car drove up and the occupants opened fire. He was shot about the upper body and died at the scene.
Mahabir, police said, was in his home at 15 3/4-mile mark, Southern Main Road, Biche, around 9.40 p.m. Saturday when relatives reported hearing the sound of gunfire. The victim was later found by his brother in one of the rooms of the house bleeding from the upper body. He was taken to Rio Claro Health Facility but was pronounced dead a short time later.
In the San Juan incident, officers said around 11.30 p.m. Saturday, Frederick, who lived at First Street, was about to enter his vehicle close to his home when a black and red Nissan Almera car pulled up alongside him and the occupants opened fire.
Frederick managed to run a short distance but later collapsed. He was taken to Mt Hope Hospital by police but was pronounced dead shortly after.
And in St James, Snaggs, of Belle Vue Road, Long Circular, reportedly attended a party in an area known as “The Alley” when, around 12.40 a.m. yesterday, while standing along the roadway, residents reported hearing several loud explosions.
Snaggs was later found lying in a drain with gunshot wounds about the body and was pronounced dead at the scene.
A senior officer in the Western Division said in that particular area there is gang warfare between the “up the road gang” and the “down the road gang”.
The officer said Snaggs was suspected of being a member of the up the hill gang and may have been killed “because he crossed the borderline”.
Homicide officers are continuing investigations into all four killings.
This brings the murder toll for the year to date to ten. —Rickie Ramdass