Trinidad: Parents Killed But Shield Baby Girl From Gunmen

(TT GUARDIAN) – A seven-month-old baby escaped death yesterday morning after gunmen stormed a St James home and murdered her parents.

However, the early morning double murder has left both investigators and relatives baffled.

The bullet-riddled bodies of Korey Clarke and his common-law wife Samantha Patrick, both 30, were found lying atop their seven-month-old baby girl Harmony Clarke by a relative who heard the gunshots and went to investigate.

The two were killed by gunmen around 12.30 am in their ground-floor apartment at Aboud Circular, Dundonald Hill.

A male relative of Clarke’s yesterday cried as he said the couple’s final act of bravery was to shield Samantha in order to save her life.

He said he found the baby girl, who was due to be christened on Sunday, covered in the couple’s blood as he checked on them after the gunshots subsided. The grieving man said he pulled the child out from under the parents so he could get her medical help.

Revealing that the baby did not even suffer a scratch, Clarke’s relative continued, “They covered the baby, that is why gunmen didn’t get her. When we pull out the baby she was full of blood. The father and mother blood run on the baby, it bathe she down but she never get a scratch.”

Thanking God for sparing the child’s life, the relative said it could have been much worse, as he had expected to find her injured and bleeding from bullet wounds.

Asked how he felt about the crime situation, especially given that three children had been killed this month alone, Clarke’s relative said, “Now it reach home by me, I understand what those outside feel. I can’t explain…these young fellas and them coming up and is not the first time they do it, they come up and kill the same Korey Clarke family.”

Clarke lost a relative to gun violence some time ago.

However, family members of both victims said they were not aware of the couple receiving threats prior to the killings.

Clarke, who had been operating a small shop, was also a part-time Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) contractor, while Patrick was said to be a stay-at-home mom.

Speaking from the family home in St James yesterday, Clarke’s relatives described him as a jolly individual who was helpful and well-known in the community.

“You could ask any neighbour round here, he is very helpful. He make road come up here…is he who build steps up here. He build the car park. He put out money for it and he ain’t get payback yet.”

One man said Clarke was, “the man around, keeping the peace inside here.”

“That was the man who used to keep the order around Aboud Circular,” the man said.

Meanwhile, lamenting yet another loss in the family, Clarke’s relative said, “He would give somebody his last and do without. You know how much people he help up here?”

Equally saddened by the loss of Patrick, Clarke’s relatives said the God-fearing woman had a premonition the night before they were killed, which she had shared with Clarke.

One woman said, “She dream and tell him yesterday…that they come and kill she and he but not the baby.”

Asked if they felt the police would find the perpetrators, Clarke’s relatives said, “We don’t believe anything will come out of this.”

Still, they said they will have no choice but to forgive the killer (s).

“When I read my Bible, it is a tedious time now and for the youths and them…they ignorant bout what they doing, they don’t even understand what they doing and I pray God, that some part of them could change some day or some time and is only God could forgive them,” one man explained.

Patrick’s relatives, who spoke to reporters at the Forensic Science Centre in St James, said, “She was always quiet but loved to laugh a lot.”

Smiling as they disclosed that she loved to eat, they said the former casino employee had changed her life to centre around her newborn baby.

A close female relative of Patrick’s said, “Them fellas heartless. When the people of T&T crying out to bring back Gary Griffith…the Prime Minister don’t want to hear it cause he heartless. If that was Rowley son or daughter, no stone woulda left unturned…they don’t care bout we. These young fellas have guns and they feel they powerful…is two quiet innocent people.”

Determined to move ahead with the baby’s christening, one woman declared, “They can’t kill we spirit. I know it have a God above. Them going and get their judgment just now. Same way we shedding tears, them parents hadda shed them tears too.”

E999 officers, along with personnel from the Western Division Special Patrol Unit, responded to reports of gunfire at the couple’s apartment and arrived to find the bodies on a mattress in one of the bedrooms. Forensic officers later recovered several 5.56 mm spent shells at the scene.

Officers from Homicide Region 1 are continuing their inquiries.