Within less than than two weeks, Arima is reeling from two triple murders. The latest is the shooting of three brothers and their cousin at Muller Trace, Demerara Road, Wallerfield on Thursday morning.
Jordan Archibald, 16, his brother Dimitri Cust, 19, and cousin Nyron Samuel, 24, were killed instantly. Marlon Cust, 28, brother of Archibald and Cust, is warded in hospital in critical condition. Marlon is autistic.
According to an eye witness, two masked men climbed through a window at the rear of the two-room house and asked “where the boys and them?”
The witness said they then proceeded to the other room where the men slept on a mattress on the ground, and another on a couch. Another was on the lower bunk of a double decker bed.
The incident occurred hours after a joint police/army exercise in the area. The police are searching for a white Nissan X-trail.
Family members said they had no idea why the men would be targeted for death.
“They would smoke their little weed and make jokes among themselves, but that was it. They were not in any gang or anything.”
When the Newsday visited the scene on Thursday, a bloody foam mattress was leaned against the wall. Inside there was blood on the floor, the back of a couch and one of the double decker beds.
Arima MP and Education Minister Anthony Garcia said he was appalled at the continued state of violence that has resulted in yet another murder of three citizens in Arima.
“It is indeed sad to learn that this state of barbarism continues in our town. I will be in contact with the mayor and other members of the borough council. Together we will be visiting the home of the victims. On Saturday we have decided with the councillor for the area to visit the families to see how best we can assist with a situation like this.”
Garcia said Arima was once a most peaceful town and people could have travelled the streets at any hour of the day or night, unmolested.
“Many of us had no fear of leaving our doors open, and there was never the fear of that type of violence. I am hoping that with the assistance of the police, together with all the citizens of Arima, it will bring an end to this scourge of crime. “
The minister said citizens could not rely solely on the police to bring relief as each one has a responsibility to uphold the law and to assist fellow citizens ensuring that they live peaceful lives.
“As Minister of Education it is part of my responsibility to ensure that in our schools, apart from teaching the curriculum, we have to ensure that our teachers also stress values such as respect for each other, respect for life, love and compassion for each other. These are the values that Arima holds very dear. We will review at the level of the school system, we will be engaging other Government institutions, especially Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, Culture Ministry and other relevant ministries, so we can work together so that this sorry situation can come to an end.”
Arima mayor Lisa Morris-Julian said while the murders occurred outside of the borough’s jurisdiction (It falls under the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation TPRC), it will still affect the borough.
“In Arima we have so much of a family atmosphere and anything that is happening at our boundaries will affect us. It is difficult to process because it is one after the other. Our concern is more about giving support to the family. It is not our job to investigate, but as mothers and fathers and councillors, we will reach out and help the families in whatever way we can.”
Morris-Julian said she met with the mother and stepfather of the victims on Thursday after they reached out to them for support.
“It is a heartbreaking situation for any mother to lose her children and we will await the investigation findings, but for now we have to pull together with the community and give support to the mother and other children. The autistic brother is stable so thank God for small mercies. I just wonder what type of cold-blooded killers would watch a child and continue on their mission.”
Asked if she will be asking the TTPS to step up their patrols, the mayor said the TTPS did an excellent job in Arima.
“Every time I look they are out on the streets.”
When contacted, TPRC chairman Kwasi Robinson said he had no comment to make at this time.