Boy, 13, shot
By NALINEE SEELAL Friday, August 3 2012
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Qadir Rajcoomar, shot and wounded near his home in Gonzales....
A 13-year-old schoolboy was shot in the back and grazed in the right shoulder after a gunman opened fire on a group of schoolchildren near their home on Bledman Lane, Gonzales, at about 3.30 pm, yesterday.
The injured schoolboy was identified as Qadir Rajcoomar, who recently passed his SEA exams for Mucurapo East Secondary School.
According to police reports, Rajcoomar and two cousins, ages ten and eight, were playing when a gunman opened fire in the direction of the three boys.
Rajcoomar, who was sitting on steps, was shot in the back while the other boys managed to run away.
Neighbours rushed Rajcoomar to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital. His mother, Karen De Castro, was at his side at the hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department when Newsday spoke to her.
De Castro said she was in Port-of-Spain when she received a phone call informing her that her second-to-last son was shot.
“I don’t know how I managed to reach the hospital, but I did, and I thought it was just a bad nightmare, but when I saw my son being attended to by doctors and surrounded by police officers, I knew that it was not a bad dream, but very real,” she said.
The mother of six said her other children were inside the house because she gave instructions for them to stay inside. She could not understand why her son was outside sitting on the steps.
However, she was grateful her son was not killed, but added doctors told her he will have to undergo tests, to be carried out by neurosurgeons, to determine if his spine was injured.
“I cannot believe that this has happened to my child, I cannot believe what crime has reached to in this country, and I cannot believe that a human being could look at little children and aim a gun at them without a second thought for their innocent, young lives.”
She is calling on the police to find the perpetrator.
“I am hurt, angry, upset, enraged and disappointed at what is taking place in this country, and I will not rest until the law takes its course, because the time has reached for someone to take back this country from the hands of persons intent on destroying this land,” she added.
As she prayed while her son was being attended to, De Castro was also relieved her son’s young cousins were not injured.
When Newsday visited the scene of the shooting, Rajcoomar’s sister said she was inside the house when she heard the gunshots, but never for a moment thought that it was her younger brother being fired upon.
She said her other siblings and neighbours, including her two cousins who witnessed the shooting attack, are traumatised.
Neighbours called on Minister of National Security Jack Warner to impose a limited state of emergency in hot spot crime areas at nights, to flush out criminals and rid the country of guns.
“This has gone too far, imagine little children being fired upon with no regard for human life, this is total madness and we will not sit by and allow this thing to ever happen again,” said an enraged neighbour.
Residents plan to meet Roman Catholic parish priest Fr Clive Harvey to seek his intervention to get the authorities to clean up crime in the area.
Police investigators told Newsday they know the suspect in the shooting and a search is being carried out for him.
Late yesterday, officers from the Inter Agency Task Force and Port-of-Spain CID teamed up to search for the gunman.
The shooting took place, three weeks after popular activist Wayne Ollivierra, 40, was shot and killed in Gonzales on July 15. No one has been arrested for the murder.