RYAN HAMILTON-DAVIS AND STACY MOORE
The year 2017 ended with 494 people being murdered across Trinidad and Tobago. Yesterday, as the new year started, the bloodshed continued with five people losing their lives and several others being wounded in violent attacks.
They are 25-year-old Brandon Khan, 59-year-old John Ramkissoon, 20-year-old Miguel Simmons, 29-year-old Nikkita Bascombe and 44-year-old Mark Knolly Bascombe.
Police believe Khan was shot dead while fireworks were being sent off to ring in the new year. Khan, believed to be a member of the Unruly Isis gang, was among a group of people liming at the corner of Reuben Lane and Goodwill Road, Enterprise when they were approached by two people who fired several shots at them. Six people were wounded including a 15-year-old girl, a 25-year-old special needs man and a 60-year-old woman who uses a wheelchair. Khan was later found in a duck pen where he ran to in an attempt to escape the gunmen.
A 69-year-old woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Newsday: “These people who did this are heartless. Look at how much people could have died here today, innocent people. It was really a wicked act. There were also children, infants, mothers with babies on the roadside just enjoying the display of fireworks.”
The woman said some people did not know it was gunshots until they started seeing people falling to the ground. Another villager described the incident as madness. “What kind of people would do this? There was a woman who could not walk, she was on a wheelchair and she was shot.”
RETIRED COP STABBED
And another New Year’s Day lime ended tragically when Ramkissoon, a retired police officer of Gopaul Trace, Palmiste, near Longdenville, was stabbed to his face and head by a 29-year-old man with whom he was arguing. He died on the spot. The incident happened at about 3 am at Ramkissoon’s house.
When Newsday visited the family’s Caparo home, relatives were still in a state of shock. Ramkissoon was a father of four. His daughter Sunita, 20, said she could not understand what would drive a man to kill another in such a brutal manner. Investigators said Ramkissoon was stabbed close to ten times.
Sunita said that she last saw her father liming and drinking with the suspect in front the family’s home. “They are friends and always lime together. I just don’t understand this. I left them both liming outside and went to bed.” She said she awoke at about 3 am to her father’s screams.
“My father was yelling and shouting to (name called) to leave the house. I rushed to the front of the house to see what was happening and by the time I reached, daddy was dead. Daddy was on the ground in a pool of blood. He was not moving. I didn’t expect to begin the new year like this. I could still see the images of my father in blood on the ground.” Ramkissoon worked as a police officer for 30 years. Police, led by Supt Richard Smith, and including PCs Allison Mohan, Don Cole, Ferdinand and Samson went to the scene. The suspect was held soon after.
MURDER IN MALICK
Simmons was killed in his home in Malick, Barataria at about 2 am but his body was found about four hours later. His father Michael Jeffers told Newsday he was sleeping in another room when he heard explosions.
“It was just after the fireworks, and he told me to sleep in his room so that he could use the internet,“ Jeffers said.
”I went to sleep and I heard loud bangs, but I thought it was fireworks. After that I heard something like a ring fall. I got up this morning wondering why a ring would fall inside. But it wasn’t a ring, it was a spent shell.”
Jeffers said the killer or killers used a bolt cutter to cut the chain on their outside gate, entered the yard, stuck the gun through a window and shot Simmons while he slept on a couch in the living room. Police said Simmons was recently released on bail in a firearm-related matter.
CHAMPS FLEURS MAN FOUND DEAD
And Nikkita Bascombe’s body was found near his home in Champs Fleurs after residents heard several gunshots.
He was found near his car which was riddled with bullets. Relatives were too distraught to speak to members of the media yesterday, but Newsday was told Bascombe had moved to central Trinidad no more than three months ago, and had returned to the area to visit family at his Quarry Drive home. Police have not established a motive for his killing.
SHOT BY MAN IN BLACK X-TRAIL
Mark Knolly Bascombe of Ward Lane, Gonzales was shot dead in Bagatelle, Diego Martin at about 4.45 pm. He was at a family lime when he was shot by a man in a black X-Trail which was driving by. He was taken by police for medical treatment but died about 30 minutes later.