A man in a black hoodie and a mask said, “Good night” to a woman at a parlour at Mahabir Lane, D’Abadie on Sunday evening.
Moments later, the man pulled out a gun and shot dead the woman’s 30-year-old husband while their three children looked on in horror from a window of a relative’s house where they were staying. The children are eight, four and two years old.
Newsday was told by relatives at the Forensic Science Centre Jerren Phillips’ two-year-old son, whose name is being withheld, is one of the most traumatised.
“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 asked not 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 when she crossed paths with a man who, seconds later, killed her husband.
She said at about 7.10 pm on Sunday, she spoke with Phillips who was at a parlour at the front of the yard liming. While there, she saw 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 the children had seen the incident from the house. The family lives at Toco.
Phillips was described as loving. His wife told Newsday he was a non-confrontational 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 and would fish near his home in Toco. But his engine in his boat was down 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 stood at 28.