Three children, ages eight, four and two, looked on in horror from a window in their house on Mahabir Lane, D'Abadie on Sunday evening as their father, 30-year-old Jerren Phillips, was shot dead.
Speaking to relatives at the Forensic Science Centre, Newsday was told one of the hardest hit of the children is Phillips’ two-year-old son, whose name is being withheld.
“He just learned to say, ‘Daddy,’ so all of this week that is all he was saying. Now he is just standing by the window and saying, 'Daddy, daddy,'” said Phillips’ wife, who also did not wish to be named.
“The four-year-old doesn’t understand what is happening. She keeps asking me, ''Mummy, why are you crying?'
"They saw him get shot. They saw when they put him in the body bag. Now they can’t sleep.”
The wife said she went to speak to Phillips and crossed paths with the man who would, seconds later, kill her husband.
She said at about 7.10 pm on Sunday, Phillips was at a parlour at the front of their yard liming. When she went there, she came across a man wearing a black hoodie and a mask.
“Out of respect I told him good night, and he said good night back. My husband hailed me out and said he was coming back and went to talk to someone across the road.
"Just then the same man in the black hoodie ran up to him and shot him.
"Everyone ran when they heard the shots. I ran into the shop. Then I saw him slumping to the ground.”
She later found out that the children saw the incident from their home.
Phillips was described as loving. His wife told Newsday he was a non-confrontational type of person.
“He never had any altercations with anyone, not even where we live in Toco. He wasn’t the type for bacchanal. He was full of love. If there was a fight around him he would separate it. Whether this is mistaken identity, I don’t know.”
Relatives were also told that the killer came to their house first, but didn’t call for anyone.
Newsday was told that Phillips was a fisherman by trade, and would fish near his home in Toco. But the engine in his boat was not been working for about a year, so he decided to take the time to “breeze out” with family and friends in D’Abadie.
The murder toll now stands at 15 for the year. Last year the toll for the same period was 28.