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Tuesday, 23 February 2010

68-YEAR-OLD pensioner and her three grandchildren were gunned down while asleep

68-YEAR-OLD pensioner and her three grandchildren were gunned down while asleep at their home at Gonzales, Belmont shortly after midnight on Sunday.Four-year-old Zara Sylvester and her aunt Jehial Roberts, 22, were also shot and wounded. Those murdered were Carmen Mc Hutchinson, 68, and siblings Asha Roberts, 23, Javon Roberts, 18, and LL Roberts, 13. Up to late yesterday little Zara, who was shot in the chest, was warded in a critical condition at the Wendy Fitzwilliam Paediatric Hospital in Mount Hope. Asha was her mother. Jehial is warded at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital (PoSGH) in a stable condition. She is under police guard. Mario Mc Hutchinson, 43, the father of Asha, Javon, LL and Jehial, was at home at the time and managed to escape by jumping through a window of the house. Carmen was his mother. Yesterday, he was counting his lucky stars for being alive, but was grieving the deaths of his mother and three of his four children. “I had to jump through the window to save myself and one of the other children. It was a horrific ordeal, one that I will never forget, and one I will not talk about,” Mc Hutchinson said.

Mc Hutchinson’s wife Eunalia Roberts, cried for justice for her mother-in-law and children yesterday. “My husband had to throw my daughter through the window and jump to get away. I work hard. I am building my home for my family. And this is what I get in return. I don’t do anybody anything. I know if I don’t get justice from the police, I will get it from God,” Eunalia said in a television interview last night.
Eunalia is a security guard and was stationed at WASA’s compound in Laventille on the night of the murders. She had to be consoled by relatives at the Forensic Science Centre in St James, where her sister Pamela Roberts-Glasgow blamed the killings on gang violence.

“Massacre, massacre, massacre. Oh God! They kill my niece and two nephews. They shoot the little child too, and she now fighting for her life. Oh God! This is just a massacre,” Roberts-Glasgow cried.

According to a police report, at about 12.30 am yesterday three gunmen broke down two doors of the house where the family lived at Hubert Lane, Gonzales and entered. The gunmen went into the bedrooms and opened fire on the sleeping occupants, killing four and wounding two. Up to 10.30 am yesterday, a team of officers led by Insp Sahadeo Singh was still on the crime scene carrying out investigations, while police and soldiers patrolled the area. Roberts-Glasgow told reporters she believed the murders occurred because two teenagers from Bath Street, East Dry River, Port-of-Spain went to Hubert Lane to have their hair braided by Jehial on Carnival Monday.
Roberts-Glasgow said members from the Gonzales gang on seeing the Bath Street boys, became angry and began threatening Jehial. “They felt she should not allow the boys from Bath Street to come into the area because they said the boys from Bath Street killed the father of one of them.

The Bath Street gang and the Gonzales gang always warring against each other, but this has nothing to do with them and that nonsense,” Roberts-Glasgow said.

“Imagine just because the two little boys came to get their hair done people want to get vex. We don’t meddle with anybody and if Jehial and them don’t have anything against people from Bath Street why they have to get threats, and even get shot and killed by other people who don’t like it? That is not their business who talks to who,” she added. Roberts-Glasgow said yesterday’s tragedy was the second to strike the family in the last five years. She said on August 5, 2005, her sister, Sherma Roberts, 30, and her neighbour Donna George, 47, were each shot once in the head at Sherma’s home at Carnelian Gardens, Diamond Vale. The trend of gangs killing entire families is reminiscent of the Dole Chadee murders, where members of the Baboolal family were massacred in Williamsville in 1994. The only survivors were two children, a boy Osmond and his sister Hematee, and they were spared by one of the killers, Levi Morris. Chadee and nine others were convicted and hanged by the State for these murders in 1996. More disturbingly, is the unrepentant killings of children under 18 in recent cases such as the murder of Quantia Hyndman, eight, who was shot dead at his home in Five Rivers, Arouca. His sister Dinesha Hyndman, 12, was also shot and survived. No one has been arrested for this brutal assault on the children which investigators said was an act of revenge for three drug-related murders.



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