The Dorata Street murders
By ALEXANDER BRUZUAL Tuesday, August 28 2012
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MURDERED: Miguel Clinton....
WITHIN the space of 48 hours, four persons — including a ten-year-old boy — were murdered within metres of each other along Dorata Street, Laventille, leaving residents of that street in a state of terror.
The latest Dorata Street murder victim was killed on Sunday afternoon, pushing the country’s murder toll to 278, according to Newsday’s statistics. The Dorata Street murder victims are
Kareem Alphonso, ten; Jacob Peters, 19; Anton Alves, 24; and Miguel Clinton, 24. Clinton was the latest person to be killed in the community.
Police reported that at about 5.40 pm on Sunday, Clinton was walking along Dorata Street when he was approached by a man not known to the residents of that street. Residents said there was a brief confrontation between Clinton and the man which was followed by rapid gunfire. Clinton was seen on the road, bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds.
A report was made to police and officers of North Eastern Division Task Force including Sgt Cornelius Samuel, who were on mobile patrol, responded and took Clinton to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital where he later died.
Clinton’s dazed relatives yesterday told Newsday that they had no idea why he was killed. “He was a good boy...quiet and caring. I don’t know why this happened. With the amount of shootings and killings in that area right now, I don’t think it’s safe for anyone anymore,” stated a relative.
Just hours before along Church Street which is not too far from Dorata Street, Alves was killed in similar fashion. At about 11:20 pm on Saturday, residents of Church Street heard loud explosions and later found Alves on the road in a pool of his own blood.
Alves was rushed to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital where he died at about 5 am on Sunday.
Kareem, 10, was executed
Perhaps the one murder on Dorata Street, which shocked an already crime-weary nation was that of ten-year-old schoolboy Kareem Alphonso — son of murder accused Barry Alphonso.
On Saturday, Alphonso was liming with Jacob Peters and Justin Abraham, 19, of Tobago, on the ground floor of Building One in the Dorata Street “Plannings”. At about 12.25 am, they were approached by a gunman who without warning, opened gunfire.
When the shooting stopped, Peters lay dead on the ground while both Alphonso and Abraham were bleeding heavily from multiple gunshot wounds. Alphonso died at hospital later that day.
Pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov, who conducted an autopsy on the youngster yesterday at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, provided startling details that Kareem was intentionally shot.
“The front of his body was exposed to the line of fire, as the first gunshot injuries he received were to the upper thighs on both his left and right legs. Then, he managed to turn his body almost a full 90 degrees to the right, probably in an attempt to escape further injury.
“It was here that the third bullet entered on the left abdominal flank, and exited on the right abdominal flank. This injury would have perforated the major branches of the aorta, resulting in severe blood loss.
“After receiving this injury, he would have fallen down, in full view of everyone, and then we have the curious and final injury — the bullet wound to the back of his head. He was already face down on the ground and someone shot him to the back of his head. My assumption is, and I say this with a reasonable degree of medical certainty, this boy was killed intentionally...he was executed and was not part of any collateral damage as it relates to the other victims in this incident,” Alexandrov said.
Alphonso’s mother Keyzec Monroe, said that she was still coming to terms with the death of her son, but despite this, she was calling on justice to be done. “They need to find those responsible. They have to! They cannot let this go as is. Kareem was now starting his life. He had SEA next year. His future was so bright and these monsters come out and take his life. Why? Why would they do that?” Monroe asked. Alphonso’s funeral will be held today under Muslim rites at the Mucurapo mosque.
Speaking on the murders especially those in Laventille, National Security Minister Jack Warner last night said, “This is not just one issue. It is a complex situation.” On calls by Laventille residents for a police presence in their community, Warner said, The police are already there and are addressing all areas where there is a challenge in crime and this includes Laventille.”
Warner spoke following a conference he attended, hosted by the TT Police Service’s Victim and Witnesss Support Unit at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain.