Trinidad: 6 Weekend Murders

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – FIFTEEN people have been murdered in just the first week of the new year.

This is more than double the country’s murder toll in the corresponding period in 2023.

At the same time last year, the toll stood at seven.

Between Saturday evening and yesterday afternoon, six murders took place in Tunapuna, Belmont, Longdenville, Mt Lambert, Port of Spain and Aranjuez.

A car that was stolen from the Aranjuez murder victim was used by the gunmen who shot and killed their target in Mt Lambert.

The victims have been identified as Selwyn “Woodsy” Pierre, Afiba “Fiba” Moraldo, Vickram “Vic” Ramlal, Adrian Stratum, Akeil Archer and Shakell George.

Pierre, an employee of the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (PATT), was found by neighbours yesterday afternoon in the bathroom of his Evelyn Trace, Aranjuez, home.

Residents observed that his home had been broken into and ransacked and his silver Mazda 323 car was missing.

Pierre, 50, was found with his hands tied and a number of stab wounds to the body.

When the Express visited the area, and even as police were processing the scene, people in the community came upon a video on social media which showed that Pierre’s car was used in Moraldo’s murder.

Officers confirmed to the Express they received information that the vehicle was the one taken from Pierre after he was killed.

While the residents spoke of the murder, none of them wished to be named, saying that they believed the killing and robbery may have been carried out by people who live in the area.

They described Pierre as a man who kept to himself and whose passion was taking care of his car.

Pierre lived alone as his only son died years ago in a road traffic accident, they said.

“What this man did to anybody? It had to be someone who was marking him and that car all the time,” suggested a resident.

Was he followed home?

Other residents recalled that on Saturday Pierre was at a bar not far from where he lived.

They said they suspected that his killers had either followed or accompanied him home and when Pierre opened his large steel front gate, they attempted to rob him.

“Knowing the kind of man that he was, he would have put up a fight and that is why they probably killed him. He would not allow anyone to rob him just like that,” a resident said.

The man who found Pierre’s body said even though he was not related to the victim, he considered him his “brother”.

“I saw the door open and the house ransacked. His car was not there either, so, I went to the port to see if he went to work but they said he was not there. So I came back up the road and went inside the house to look for him and that is when I took a rag and opened the bathroom door and found his body,” he said.

Residents said it was not until around noon they became suspicious, having not seen Pierre even though his door remained open during the morning.

They suspect that Pierre was killed either on Saturday night or early yesterday morning.

Even before Pierre’s body was found, police released information on Moraldo’s murder.

The murder was said to have taken place at 10.30 a.m.

Detectives said Moraldo was standing along the road when Pierre’s Mazda 323 pulled up nearby.

Two of the occupants of the vehicle emerged with high-powered rifles and chased after Moraldo before shooting him.

He died at the scene.

Following the attack, the men re-entered the car and sped off.