A 60-year-old man is in police custody after he went on a shooting rampage in a Manzanilla bar, fatally shooting a relative, 44-year-old Savitri Narine and wounding Narine’s 18-year-old daughter, MIC Institute of Technology student, Nirrmalaa Narine.
The brother of the deceased, Bobby Narine, was also grazed by a bullet. A visibly emotional and shaken Bobby told Newsday he believed the gunman “lost his faculties” after years of frustration, stemming from a bitter divorce with the aunt of the deceased, which has been ongoing for about 15 years.
“He didn’t say anything and he didn’t warn anybody. He just started shooting up the place out of nowhere,” Bobby said. “I was just about to go into the bar and sell, when he started shooting. When I heard the first shot, I thought it was a scratch bomb, then I saw him (the suspect), and I just ducked for cover. One of the bullets grazed me at the back of my head.”
Bobby said the shooting incident occurred at about 8.30 pm on Saturday. Around that time the suspect walked into the bar, sat at a table and drank a beer. At the time, Savitri was standing at the entrance of the bar, where she would usually sell preservatives and snacks, and she was being assisted by Nirrmalaa.
The man, after finishing his beer, got up and walked toward his car. Then he opened his trunk, took out a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with about five shotgun shells, turned in the direction of the bar, and started shooting indiscriminately.
Savitri was the first to be shot. She was hit in the face and upper body with the shotgun blast. Nirrmalaa was then hit in the right shoulder. The man fired off several more rounds, before getting back into his car and fleeing the area.
Police and emergency services were contacted and Eastern Division Police responded, The two were taken to the Sangre Grande Hospital, where Savitri died as a result of her wounds.
Nirrmalaa underwent emergency surgery, and during the course of the night was stabilised. She is now in a stable but serious condition.
Police began their search for the suspect as soon as they were alerted. During the search officers found the suspect’s car abandoned in a clearing a few miles from where the shooting occurred. Then, at about 2.30 pm yesterday the man gave himself up to police.
He is now assisting police with the investigations at the Sangre Grande Police Station while family members, and the village as a whole, try to come to terms with the act of senseless violence.
Neighbours, relatives and friends came to the bar, which was located at the front of the house where Nirrmalaa and Savitri lived, to show their support and express their condolences.
“This kind of thing does not happen here,” said one villager “This is total madness.”
Bobby said that he was told of the suspect speaking ill of Savitri, and calling her a “n asty woman”, but he said he had no idea why he would say something like that.
“That is the only sister I have you know,” said a sobbing Bobby, “It was only the both of us since day one. She was quiet she never gave anyone trouble, she was friendly with everyone. I am just trying to hold on for my mother, who had a stroke. I don’t want anything else to happen to her.”
Savitri was a mother of two. The murder toll now stands at 468 for the year.