Onika Crafton, a 34-year-old mother of two became collateral damage early yesterday morning, after she and her common-law husband, 31-year-old Jamarrie John, were shot dead at her Guaico home.
While Crafton’s visibly upset relatives did not want to speak to the media, friends and neighbours lauded her as a hard-working and honest woman. They said she was an innocent woman who got into a relationship with “a bad seed” and had to pay for that relationship with her life when gunmen came calling.
Police investigating the double murder are working on the theory that he was involved in cime, as a gun and several rounds of ammunition were found under John’s dead body. Police believe that he may have had the firearm to protect himself from criminal rivals, but gunmen caught him with his “pants down” on Sunday night.
According to reports gunshots rang out at about 3 am on Sunday at Moolchan Street, Guaico, Sangre Grande. Neighbours and relatives who were awoken out of their sleep from the gunshots alerted the police. When police officers arrived, they found Crafton and John’s nude bodies with several gunshot wound as they lay on their bed.
As police processed the scene and were moving the bodies they found the firearm – a Glock 9mm – under John. Police also found 41 rounds of ammunition nearby.
The discovery of the gun and the bullets led police to a similar conclusion that neighbours had – that Crafton was an innocent woman who got involved with John, and his involvement in criminal activities led them both to their deaths.
“She was a good girl!” exclaimed one neighbour, Marylin Hoyte, while speaking to Newsday yesterday. “She just ended up with a bad seed.”
“She would work and make sure her two sons ate every day. She was a strong, hard-working woman,” other neighbours added.
Residents said after Crafton’s original house was burnt in a fire about five years ago, she and her two sons lived with neighbours until she could get back on her feet.
She worked at Advance Foam, the company which manufactures Serta mattresses and Diana Candy Company until she was able to save enough money and rebuild her home.
While there was little known about John, neighbours also claimed that the 31-year-old man had recently received death threats.
Autopsies are expected to be done on the two bodies today, at the Forensic Science Centre in St James while investigations into the matter continue.
In the meantime, Crafton’s two children, who are both under the age of 12, are said to have been taken under the care of relatives. Newsday understands that the two youths were in the house at the time but were asleep when the shooting started.
Up to press time, no arrests were made in relation to the murders.