A COUVA couple is mourning the loss of their two children who were shot dead in a home invasion during the early morning hours on Thursday.
Ann Chitbahal was cooking food for her family at 5.30 am when the front door was kicked in and two gunmen entered. As one of them pushed her to the floor, Chitbahal’s 23-year-old daughter Vishanie came running from a room to her assistance. She was shot.
The gunshot woke up Chitbahal’s son Vishal, 25, and as he came out of his bedroom, he too was shot.
Vishanie died in the house while her brother died minutes later at hospital.
Sitting in the small porch of her modest, wooden Windsor Park, Couva home, the 47-year-old woman wept as she said that in the blink of an eye, she had lost both of her children.
Recalling the traumatic incident, Chitbahal said, “I started to bawl when he pushed me down. My daughter woke up and came into the room. He asked the other guy who was with him, ‘that is she?’ The guy said ‘yes’ and then a shot was fired and just so they shoot my daughter in the head. She fell to the ground and stopped moving.”
Chitbahal said she ran out of the house screaming to alert neighbours.
By this time, she said, her son Vishal came out of his bedroom and was shot in the chest by the gunmen who then left the house and ran off. Vishal was taken to the Couva Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The siblings were not married and did not have any children.
Chitbahal and her husband Tony, 56, have any other children. “My poor, innocent children never did anything to anyone,” Chitbahal said.
“My daughter made a grocery list yesterday because we don’t know what is going on with the coronavirus. The list is somewhere inside. We had plans to go to the supermarket today. Yesterday, Vishanie baked cake.”
Chitbahal said her daughter worked as a clerk at S. Ramlogan Sports Centre in Couva while Vishal was a technician at Bridgson Auto Electrical in Debe.
Because of the stay-at-home measures instituted to try and curb the spread of the covid19 virus, both siblings were staying home from work.
Tony said his son’s boss called on Wednesday and asked him to come out on Thursday. “My wife was cooking for him. If he was not working, she would not have been up. They (the killers) did not ask for or took anything from the house. All they asked was, ‘that is she?’ before they killed my daughter,” he said. “My children had no enemies,” he said .
Tony said he is a diabetic, has limited mobility and recently underwent surgery. His children were the breadwinners in the house, he said. “I had surgery in my neck recently for a pinched nerve. If I did not undergo that surgery, doctors said I could have been paralysed. I was not able to come out fast enough to see what was going on when they forced their way into my house.”
He said that apart from the deep grief over their sudden loss, both he and his wife remain baffled as to why anyone would want to kill their children. “I cannot say if it was a case of mistaken identity or if they came for her...or for what reason. If she received threats or anything, she would have told us. She did not hide anything from us,” he said.
“Our children were never rude to us. They were kind and took care of both of us,” Ann said. Both bodies were later removed to the Forensic Science Centre in St James for autopsy. Central Division CID and Homicide Investigations Bureau (Region III) detectives visited the scene and spoke with the couple and neigbours. Police said they too have no motive for the killings. No arrest has been made and investigations are ongoing.