WHILE National Security Minister Edmund Dillon was leading a contingent of senior national security officials on a walkabout in Laventille to show the criminal elements that the state security agencies remain in charge, elsewhere in the country, the murder rate continued to climb.
In the past 24 hours, three murders were committed, with this year’s toll at 257 and the last victim, up to press time, being a man nicknamed “Shotta” who was shot dead in Carenage.
As police processed the scene around the body of Jelani “Shotta” Warner, his mother stood nearby and declared, “my son is now in Heaven.” Warner was shot dead in an alley near Smith Hill at about 2 pm.
On being approached by Newsday for an interview, the weeping woman said she did not want to speak or give her name. She however confirmed that she was Warner’s mother. She watched as Homicide Investigations Bureau officers collected spent bullet casings which littered the ground around her son’s body.
While Warner’s mother remained stoic, other relatives wept with one man, said to be Warner’s brother, having to be escorted as he crossed the police’s yellow caution tape which cordoned off the crime scene. He crossed the tape in an effort to touch Warner’s body.
“That is my brother, boy!” the man exclaimed while he was being led away. “What do you want me to do while he is lying there? You don’t know what is going on with me right now,” he cried. While police were trying to ascertain a motive for Warner’s killing, sources said he was a person who assisted law enforcement in several cases and had also witnessed two murders in the Carenage area.
Newsday was also told the Warner was in the State’s Witness Protection Programme, but walked out. No arrest has been made and investigations are ongoing.