HOURS before she was expected to deliver her Sunday morning sermon at the St Michael Divine Healing Tabernacle in Longdenville, a female pastor was stabbed to death by a prominent religious leader after a domestic dispute.
The killing occurred behind the walls of the pastor’s church on Saturday night and was witnessed by her 10-year-old granddaughter.
Pastor Alisha Ali, 42, of Gill Trace, Lamont Village, Longdenville, died at the Chaguanas District Health Facility. She was found by villagers with a bread knife stuck inside a wound to her face on her bedroom floor.
The bedroom is located to the back of the church on the same compound.
Ali was stabbed to her face and chest by her killer. According to a police report, at about 11 pm villagers heard the screams of the child and rushed to the house. Ali was found covered in blood. The killer with his hands dripping blood was seen running out of the house.
Police recorded a statement from Ali’s granddaughter. The child told investigators she was on the bed sitting with her grandmother when the close male relative and her grandmother began to argue.
The child said her grandmother walked away and the man walked behind her.
The man then pulled out a bread knife from his pocket and began to stab Ali. The mother of two fell to the ground. The child screamed for the man to stop but he continued to stab the woman even as she lay helplessly on the ground.
As the killer ran from the house, villagers attempted to stop him but he outran them.
Eyewitness said he ran to the end of Gill Trace and entered a white Lancer car driven by another man.
Ali was taken to the Chaguanas Health Facility where doctors pronounced her dead.
Ali, who heads the church in her yard for the past six years, was said to be a respected member of her community and a mother-figure to many young men and women.
Many of the members of the congregation are people from the community of Lamont who attend her services on Sunday mornings at 11. Yesterday when some of the worshippers showed up at the church the tragic news was broken to them. Newsday learnt many of them broke down in tears. They told Newsday Ali opened the church to spread the word of God and bring people closer to Him.
One worshipper, Aldain Goodwin said he was still in a state of shock. He said he has been attending service at the church for the past six years since its establishment.
“I would be here every morning listening to her preach. Pastor Ali was like a mother to me. Whenever I did not have any money or food she was there for me.” He said Ali was strong in her spiritual faith “and a praying woman.”
“It is really shocking to learn what happened. I would have never expected this. I never thought this man was this type of person.”
Ali’s niece, Reese Williams described her aunt as the ‘go to person’. “She was the one in the village everyone went to when they wanted someone to talk to about their problems. She was always there for everyone. She did not deserve this. I never would believe this man would do this.” Williams said in the past when she visited her aunt she would hear arguments with her and the religious leader. “But she was also a private person. She didn’t tell anyone her problems and prayed. It is really sad what happened to her. She was a kind and caring woman.”
Up to late yesterday, the search continued for the killer. A senior police told Newsday that police stations across the country had been notified and a manhunt has been launched for the religious leader who is said to be in hiding.
An autopsy on Ali’s body would be done tomorrow at the Forensic Science Centre. Homicide Region Three Police are investigating