Bloody Start to New Year

John Ramkissoon

Trinidad and Tobago Recorded 494 Murders in 2017, Up 31 From 2016

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – At least five people have been killed within the first two days of New Year as Trinidad and Tobago recorded a total of 494 murders last year, 31 more than in 2016.

Retired police officer John Ramkissoon, 59, was among the five killed on the first day of 2018. Police said Ramkissoon was drinking with friends when he was involved in an argument with a man, who left and returned with a cutlass, chopping the former police officer about the body. He died at the scene.

Police said the first murder of the year occurred just after midnight when Brandon Khan was liming with friends at a New Year’s Eve party at Enterprise in Central Trinidad when shots were fired.

Brandon Khan

Khan, 23, who was shot with five others, died while undergoing treatment at the Chaguanas Health Facility. Police said he was shot six times. The names of the five wounded people have not yet been released.

Police are also investigating the murder of 30-year-old Miguel Simmons, whose bullet ridden body was found in Malick along the East-West corridor.

Police said a man identified only as “Nic,” was killed as he drove his vehicle in Champ Fleur, east of here on Monday. The driver crashed into a concrete embankment and police said as the driver got out of the vehicle he was chased and shot dead.

Law enforcement authorities said Mark Bascombe was killed outside a children’s party in Bagatelle, Diego Martin, west of here, in a drive-by shooting.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Irwin Hackshaw, said the police would continue their activities in a bid to keep a lid on the murders.

“Our vision for 2018 is that, as it was last year, but we will put in that extra effort this year. We didn’t do too well last year but we will keep on pushing…the boots are on the ground and the police are on the ground,” Hackshaw told the Trinidad Guardian newspaper. – CMC