Relatives of Alaifa Augustine, one of the teenagers killed in Palo Seco on Tuesday evening, believe the shooters were looking for a particular person in the car.
Augustine’s sister, who wished not to be named, said she found it strange that one man escaped the ambush and attack, which took place near the Rancho Quemado Primary School around 6 pm.
The relative said Augustine was at home when the others picked him up for a spin in the area, and said his death was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She said her brother and the driver tried to run.
She said, “There were five people in the vehicle, but this person was not harmed...One person was being targeted and I believe this whole thing was a was a set-up.” Police confirmed there was a fifth person in the car in which the men were found, and said he has been helping with investigations.
Those who were found dead were brothers Antonio Alexander, 28, of Hill Top, Springvale, Claxton Bay and Shaquille Dottin, 22, of South Trace, Rancho Quemado; and their cousin Jabari Toby, 17, of Eight Road, Palo Seco.
Augustine, of Alexander Settlement, Santa Flora, died at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) around 7.30 pm on Tuesday while being given emergency treatment.
Police said the men were in a silver-grey AD wagon when they were shot. Two were found dead in the back seat. One was in the front passenger seat and the fourth, who had numerous bullet wounds, had managed to crawl out of the car.
Police said the vehicle the gunmen used was set on fire a short distance away but was only partly burnt. Both vehicles have been taken to the Special Recoveries Unit in Cumuto for processing.
Augustine was a form four student at Siparia East Secondary School and was planning to enrol in the Military-Led Youth Programme of Apprenticeship and Reorientation Training (MYPART) in Couva.
His sister said, “He was involved in multiple incidents and received several threats from people concerning his behaviour. He thought going to MYPART would be safe.”
Augustine was the second child in the family to be murdered. Last year his brother Isaiah, 18, was shot and killed in Couva.
His mother was too distraught to talk with the media.
Newsday also visited the Springvale, Claxton Bay, area where Alexander lived but was met with closed gates at his house. Neighbours said he moved into the area some months ago.
Homicide Region Three police are investigating.