IN THIS country, getting lost while driving can cost you your life.
This was the case on Thursday night when a 47-year-old St Joseph coconut vendor got lost while trying to find the house of a friend in Cunupia and drove into a dead end road controlled by a gang. As he tried to reverse out of the dead end, the man was shot multiple times by gunmen who were liming at the entrance of the road.
Police sources said that Cunupia and environs have been zoned off with two gangs, the Unruly Isis and Rasta City, taking charge of sections with members jealously guarding their respective territories, even to the point of spilling blood when a person deemed an “outsider” wanders into the wrong turf.
Ramesh Ramoutar of Farm Road and his nephew Keron Rampersad were on their way to visit an acquaintance near the Rum Runners Liquor Mart in Richard Street, Cunupia when at 11 pm, Ramoutar took a wrong turn onto a narrow street which came to a dead end. As Ramoutar tried to reverse the car back onto the main road, his car was fired upon by a group of men standing at the corner.
Ramoutar was hit several times, while Rampersad was shot once in the left leg and a bullet grazed his right forearm. Residents who heard the gunshots, did not dare leave their homes to assist, but instead contacted the police. Ramoutar and Rampersad were taken to the Chaguanas District Health Facility, where Ramoutar died.
At the Forensic Science Centre in St James yesterday, a relative of Ramoutar who asked not to be identified, described him as a gentle, generous man who was at peace with everyone. The relative believes, just as the police do, that Ramoutar was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. No attempt was made to rob Ramoutar and Rampersad after the shooting.
“There’s a big war going on in that part of Central where they ended up. I think the gangmen didn’t see who was behind the wheel and just decided to shoot first and then ask questions later. He was a kind man. He would cook food for those in need and was always the life of any party. It’s sad this came and happened.” No arrest has been made and investigations are continuing. Up to press time, the murder toll stood at 206.