Relatives of a Buccoo man killed in Laventille said they would have prevented him from leaving Tobago if they knew he planned to stay in Laventille.Nikel Matthew, 21, a construction worker, was shot several times in a house in Richardson Lane, Laventille, last week. His body was identified by relatives at the Forensic Science Centre in St James on Monday.
Matthew is the brother of the political leader of Unity of the People Nickocy Phillips.
According to a police report, Matthews was found with gunshot wounds to the head on Friday around 1.30 pm.
His cellphone and backpack were also stolen. No one from the area was able to identify him.
He was pronounced dead on the scene and his body moved to the mortuary.
An aunt, who didn’t want to be named, described Matthew as a loving, helpful and hardworking man as she spoke briefly to Newsday on Monday.
She said Matthew would usually visit Trinidad with his girlfriend, who is originally from Tobago but lives in south Trinidad. She said the family later learnt that the girlfriend stayed at a house in Laventille as well.
“If we know is there he was staying, we would have never let him go...
"All this time he going to Trinidad we thought she was taking him to south – we didn’t know it was Laventille. We still trying to piece together what happened."
She said family is confused by the whole situation.
"There are a lot of stories out there, but I am certain my nephew wasn’t affiliated with any gang. He just went Trinidad with his girlfriend for a couple of days and this was the outcome of that.”
She said the family last spoke to him on Friday via WhatsApp.
"We were trying to get onto him the next day and his phone was just ringing, and it went to voicemail.“His girlfriend told us he was missing and that we went to buy something down the road and she didn’t see him. When she went to look and ask people on the block if they had seen him, she couldn’t find him.”
Desperate to find her nephew she searched social media for reports on missing people.
“I saw a picture of a man that was killed on Richardson Lane but the identify was blocked off and I know it was around there they said he was last seen. Later on in the evening, I hear a commotion outside with other relatives and that is when I found out they found his body."