ONGOING war in Carenage which in the past year resulted in at least five men being killed, triggered a massive joint police and Defence Force exercise yesterday.
The lawmen swarmed Upper Haig Street and Abbe Poujade Street looking for gunmen, who residents said, began shooting indiscriminately for over three minutes before police arrived. Both streets intersect at a point called Fresco Junction. The rapid gunfire forced regiment, coast guard and various units of the police service to descend on Carenage arresting two, searching several homes, but recovering no weapons. One of the homes searched according to residents, belonged to a member of the Coast Guard who was not at home at the time.
The uncle of one of the men arrested, who identified himself only as Jason, told the media that the two of them were at home listening to music when his nephew stopped playing and alerted him to the gunshots. Jason had earlier pointed out three bullet holes in his home, one in his front door and two on the roof. After the shooting police came to his house and arrested his nephew.
The most recent casualty of the war was Ronald Depeza who was shot dead near the Boardwalk, Chaguaramas on March 9. He was shot a month prior and survived that attack. Depeza’s name is added to the list that includes Andrew Francis, Kedel Osborne and Fabien Williams. All three were murdered at the Boardwalk Chagauramas on July 8 last year. They too lived at Upper Haig Street and police labelled their deaths as gang-related. In November Shakiel John was murdered while liming at Haig Street. On Thursday a woman’s home was fire-bombed while 29-year-old Isaiah Marcelle was shot. This is all being linked by both police and Jason.
Jason clarified: “This is not no Rasta City and Muslim war, this is just envy. Men doing their own thing up here and men just envy men and don’t like that and trying to come and kill men and dominate the place. I can’t see my friend and them again. All of this connected to the killing on the Boardwalk. Right through they coming to kill men up here. At the end of the day I scared for my life.”
Jason was supported by his neighbours, one of them Depeza’s mother, who said police are aware of the shooters and are doing nothing about it. They showed cars parked with bullet holes from the constant shooting between the gangs. Residents from both sides claimed that the other side were the aggressors and they want police protection.