'Pumpkin Man' killed in Laventille

Police at a crime scene. - File photo
Police at a crime scene. - File photo

A 39-year-old man was shot and killed while walking on a football field in Laventille around 7.30 pm on Thursday.

Reports say four men got out of a white SUV and started shooting at the victim, identified as Jerome "Pumpkin Man" Findley from Upper Wharton Street, Laventille. Findley ran onto the field, where he collapsed. The men ran to their waiting SUV and drove off.

In 2018, Justice Althea Alexis-Windsor sentenced Findley to 18 years in prison in the Port of Spain High Court for manslaughter after he pleaded guilty to the killing of Michael “Devil” Dyer on February 19, 2009.

He stabbed Dyer in the heart when the two had an argument.

Findley served one year and five months of his sentence. The judge reduced his sentence after taking into account his guilty plea, time spent in prison before his guilty plea, his clean prison record and the diverse positive testimonials from his relatives and members of the Laventille community.

On Friday, Newsday spoke by phone to a relative of Findley who did not wish to be identified. She described him as someone who loved making people laugh, a hard worker who was always looking for the dollar, and outspoken.

"He is no thief or shooter. If you want a tree cut, he’ll do it for you. Want something built? He’ll do it for you. He was a construction worker who wanted the best for the community.”

She said he was popular in the community for doing many jobs.

“Neighbours would come looking for him to do stuff for them – build something, fix something.”

The relative said Findley loved his family deeply and would be missed most by his nieces and nephews.

She denied rumours that Findley was in a gang, and questioned the motive for his killing.

“I don’t have any suspicions as to why this would have happened. My family and I are sitting here wondering why.”

Responding to questions on his manslaughter conviction, she said

“He served his time, came out and he was the same good, kind-hearted person he was. Unfortunately, it happened, but even then, if you look at his record, you would see he was never in trouble.”

She stressed Findley was a positive person who worked hard, saying at the time of his conviction he was a hard-working, honest man.

“He used to sell CDs."

Crime-scene officers found 18-nine-mm spent shell, two gold-coloured rings, one gold-coloured chain and one pair of gold-coloured earrings at the scene. Findley was wearing a black vest and multi-coloured shorts when he was murdered. Investigations are ongoing.
(With reporting by Josette Nicole Deonanan)

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"‘Pumpkin Man’ killed in Laventille"

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