Schoolgirl, 15, cousin killed in Belmont ambush

Jada Felician -
Jada Felician -

A 15-year-old schoolgirl and her cousin were among four people murdered in north and south Trinidad.

Relatives, friends and classmates of Jada Felician were inconsolable after she and her cousin Jordan Pierre, 27, were killed in Belmont early Saturday morning.

In unrelated attacks, Marvin James, 30, was gunned down by bandits in Aranguez, at around 4 am Saturday. By the afternoon, 29-year-old Kendell Williams of Marabella was shot and killed while getting a haircut.

In the case of Felician and Pierre, Newsday understands the cousins were returning home after dropping off a friend St Barbs Road, Belmont, at around 1.45 am when they were attacked by gunmen who shot at the Nissan Almera they were travelling in.

Members of the Port of Spain Task Force responded to a report of gunshots in the area and found the car on fire and Pierre's body nearby.

Police called the fire service who extinguished the blaze and found Felician's burnt body inside.

Investigators said over 60 spent shells were found at the scene.

At Felician's home, her mother Susan Felician said she never imagined her daughter would be the victim of such a violent crime.

She said while the community was generally quiet, there has been an uptick in criminal activities, particularly shootings in recent times.

"Lately there has been a lot of shootings. We usually hear the gunshots from up the road or in Belle Eau Road, but it's mostly elderly folks that live around here.

"There's nothing we can do again to keep ourselves safe because even when you're inside and keeping to yourself innocent people are still dying."

Felician said her daughter was a fourth form student of East Mucurapo Secondary School and was looking forward to completing CXC examinations next year.

"She wanted to get involved in science. She liked NASA and things like that, she was very adventurous."

Felician's godmother Natasha Moraldo described the killings as an "ambush" and did not understand why anyone would want to murder Felician and Pierre.

Susan Felician, the mother of murdered schoolgirl Jada Felician, during an interview at her Belmont home on Saturday. - PHOTO BY ROGER JACOB

She added that she with the end of state of emergency (SoE) and curfew on Wednesday more killings would continue as criminals could move more freely.

"When the curfew was at 10 pm there weren't all that people outside and as the curfew was lifted my godchild is dead and Jordan is dead. It hasn't even been a week yet and they are dead.

"She didn't even begin to live her life as yet, she was only 15 years old in form four looking to go and organise for her CXC exams."

Moraldo said she considered Pierre as her own son and described him as a helpful, soft-spoken man who had a passion for helping others.

Newsday spoke to a senior officer in the Port of Spain Division who said both Pierre and Felician were not known to be involved in any criminal activities.

He said with the curfew being lifted, criminals were taking the opportunity to target their enemies adding that innocent people were also being targeted in attacks.

"Now that the curfew has ended some of them aren't waiting to be attacked first to retaliate they want to go and initiate attacks first.

"They know the layout of each other's territory and they are making use of it to launch attacks and escape and the innocents are the ones paying for it."

The officer added that while more attacks were expected the police were prepared to tackle any further violence.

Commenting on the double murder, Belmont East councillor Nicole Young said she was heartbroken by the crime as she also served as Felician's guidance counsellor at Mucurapo East Secondary School.

Young said programmes aimed at keeping young people off the streets were just as is important as police intervention.

"The school has plunged into mourning, the whole area of Belmont has been plunged into mourning. It's awful and devastating what has happened.

"There are so many different ways to tackle these situations. From a community point a view we just have to continue sheltering our young people and ensure they stay on the straight and narrow and introduce more programmes of course we as the community need to fight back these criminals."

Young said she remembered Felician as an energetic young girl in the area.

On Thursday, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mc Donald Jacob and ACP Erla Christopher said the police was taking proactive measures to call out more resources to combat an expect rise in crime with the lifting of the state of emergency which had been in effect since May 15.

There have been several shootings and murders in east Port of Spain, Belmont and Laventille over the past two weeks.

On November 3 Samuel Roberts, 36, was gunned down while in his car on David Street, Gonzales.

On November 5, a man identified as Kern Sandy, 28, was shot dead while liming with friends in Bossiere Lane, Belmont.

On Friday, 31-year-old Aaron Thomas was killed in Block 22, Laventille. Three men were later held in relation with his murder in Morvant.

Hours later on Friday afternoon, Garvin Pantor, 43, was shot dead outside his St John Road, East Dry River, Port of Spain home.

As of Saturday afternoon the murder toll was 389.


"Schoolgirl, 15, cousin killed in Belmont ambush"

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