Port-of-Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee says Laventille has become “hell on earth” following last Thursday’s shooting deaths of two school boys on Picton Road.
Tim Kee and other officials from the corporation visited the Sogren Trace home of the parents of 16-year-old Mark Richards, one of the deceased in the attack. The other student killed in the attack was 17-year-old, Deneilson Smith.
They were both students of Success/Laventille Secondary School.
“This is hell on earth. What is happening here is hell on earth,” Tim Kee told reporters, after yesterday’s 90-minute meeting with the parents Joel Raymond and Shirley Valdez.
He said the killing was “really heart-breaking. I am (was) sitting there (in the home) and I am feeling the pain. He said what has made it more disturbing to him was that “some of the people held (by police) were from right around here, who were like one of the children that was killed.”
He said those situations “touch you and I feel really sad.”
Tim Kee said the residents of Laventille were being affected by gangsters who were engaging in a kind of tyranny and poverty. He said he didn’t know “if hell could be worse than that.”
Residents said there was a death list in Laventille. Tim Kee said he was not aware of any such list but “the way things are going I don’t know if even there is a list (because) like anybody who fits a certain description, whether it is geographic or not, they are on that imaginary list.”
The corporation is scheduled to meet today to determine what specific assistance will be provided to the families of the two dead students.
He said the residents have every reason to be fearful for their lives in the wake of the killings. Richards’ relatives told Tim Kee that they felt like prisoners in their homes and they can’t walk the street. Other residents say they have been received death threats.
“To walk 100 metres from their households to get a taxi is a problem,” the mayor said.
But he said he was confident the Government will deal with the situation. No uniformed soldiers or police officers were seen in the area during the mayor’s visit yesterday. On Saturday, police and soldiers swarmed the area in search of suspects wanted for the double murder.
Tim Kee said he hoped a permanent police/army post will be stationed in the area.