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Saturday 21 September 2019
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Killed for defiance

Man refuses to leave Sea Lots home after threats

Tyrone Joseph, 44, was shot and killed while driving to his Smith Hill, Carenage home on Monday night.
Tyrone Joseph, 44, was shot and killed while driving to his Smith Hill, Carenage home on Monday night.

SHANE SUPERVILLE

NIGEL Francisco paid with his life for defying the orders of a group of men who told him to pack up and leave Sea Lots.

Francisco was one of four men killed between Monday night and yesterday morning, sending the murder toll to 66.

Police sources said that on Monday, a group of men visited Francisco's home in Pioneer Drive to ask about the disappearance of some items. Afterwards, they ordered Francisco and his family to pack up and leave Sea Lots...or else.

While his relatives heeded the instructions and fled on Monday night, a defiant Francisco stayed put. At 7 am yesterday, police said, the group returned and shot Francisco several times in the head at point-blank range. He died on the spot. It was only three hours later that passers-by saw his body and alerted the police.

Police from the Besson Street station, the Inter Agency Task Force and Port of Spain CID visited the scene. An autopsy is expected to be done today at the Forensic Sciences Centre. Up to press time, no arrest had been made and the whereabouts of Francisco's family were not known.

SOUP VENDOR KILLED

Hours earlier, at John John Terrace, Laventille, Leopold Adams was shot dead while watering plants outside his apartment. Adams, 56, who was a corn soup vendor, was killed at about 4.45 am. At the centre yesterday, his weeping daughter Rae Ann Adams said she did not know why anyone would want to kill her father, whom she described as a gentle and caring man.

"After selling his soup on afternoons, he would stop by at several homeless shelters and give out whatever soup was left over, to those in need. That is the kind of person my father was. I really don't know why anyone would want him dead," she said.

Adams said she lived next door and the gunshots woke her. Minutes later, she was told her father had been shot dead. Up to press time, his killer/s remained at large.

In the third murder, on Monday at 9 pm, taxi driver Tyrone Joseph, 44, was returning to his Smith Hill, Carenage home, when shots were fired at his car and he was struck. It was reported that Joseph managed to get out of the car but collapsed on the roadside and died.

Newsday spoke to one of Joseph's relatives, who said she would remember him as a calm, easygoing person. "He was a really cool person. He didn't take any c--p from anyone. Once you were straight with him, it would be fine," said the relative, who asked not to be identified.

JOHN DOE KILLED

In the fourth incident, members of the Inter Agency Task Force were on patrol when they found an unidentified man near the Duncan Street apartment complexes in east Port of Spain, at around 10.25 pm on Monday.

Police said the man was found between buildings 32 and 34 and was wearing a grey vest and black jeans. He appeared to have been shot on the right side of his neck, the right shoulder and on his left hand. He was taken by police to the Port of Spain General Hospital where he died while receiving treatment at 10.50 pm.

SEA LOTS STILL TENSE

The murder of Francisco yesterday came a little over a week after two shooting incidents, both at Pioneer Drive in Sea Lots, left three people dead and several wounded.

On February 4, Tracy Julius Rogers, 31, the mother of two, was called out by name by someone outside her home at 7.15 am. Moments later, she was gunned down.

Hours earlier, on February 3, gunmen drove by and opened fire at a group of men liming on Pioneer Drive. When the smoke cleared, Jamal Leid, 26; Nigel Roberts, 30; Shenelle Johnson, 24; Trey Beard, 23; Trevor Isaac, 56; Rahim Bruce, 23; Patrick James Lewis, 59; and Rawle Williams, 39, lay in the road with gunshot wounds. Williams, who was shot in the chest, died later at the scene, while Lewis, a calypsonian, who was shot in the right shoulder, died at hospital.

Police said Rogers' murder was in retaliation for the drive-by shooting. Police sources yesterday could not say if the murder of Francisco was linked to the Rogers murder or the drive-by shootings. Lewis's funeral took place yesterday at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Port of Spain.

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