THE mothers of Kurt “Ratty” Smith and David Charles – the two men who were killed in La Puerta, Diego Martin on Wednesday, lamented that their neighbourhood has gone from a peaceful place, to a war zone.
At the Forensic Science Centre yesterday, they said for the past year killers have taken over the area.
“Like someone want to take control of our community,” said Charles’ mother.
“La Puerta used to be one, then people just started dropping like flies. If I could see the people who killed my son, I would simply look at them and say ‘the blood of Jesus’.”
Smith and Charles were the latest murder victims in a rash of killings which started since last year.
In August 2017, Smith’s elder brother, Curtis Smith Jr, was shot dead outside a shop in La Puerta. Three months after, 32-year-old Allan Soleyn was shot dead on Pregnancy Lane, off La Puerta Avenue
While police are still trying to establish motive behind the double homicide, Smith’s relatives believe he was targeted because of his position in the community as a contract worker.
Newsday was told that Smith and Charles were contract workers who were building a retaining wall mere metres away from where they were killed.
Smith’s mother told Newsday her eldest son, Curtis, was also a contractor, and after he died, Kurt started his own contracting business, and was getting construction contracts in La Puerta, and sometimes in parts of Petit Valley.
She said the pain of losing him is compounded as the killing happened one week shy of the anniversary of Curtis’ murder.
The mothers described Smith and Charles as “loving sons”. Charles’ relatives told Newsday he was the father of a two-year-old girl and was expecting another child.
“He was a likeable person. Everyone liked him,” Charles’ mother said.
Relatives added that Charles was even speaking with other members of the La Puerta community, to hold a peace walk and graduation for the residents on the street.
On Wednesday, Smith and Charles were in a silver Nissan Almera on La Puerta Avenue at about 8.50am, when they were pulled over by a white Hyundai Tuscon which appeared to be a police vehicle. However gunmen got out of the vehicle and shot the two men. Charles died at the scene, while Smith died at the St James Infirmary.