(TRINIDAD NEWSDAY) — Counsellors from the police Victim and Witness Support Unit have been assigned to ten children, eight of whom witnessed the killing of their father, Damian Howe, in the family’s Marabella home on Thursday morning.
The children’s ages range from four-15.
Reports said all ten children were in the house when two gunmen entered.
Eight were in one bedroom with their father and the other two were in another bedroom of the family’s home at Kitchener Street, Marabella.
The children were preparing to go to school and their father was getting ready for work.
A police report said at about 5.30 am the men came in, walked into the bedroom and began shooting at Howe. They then ran out.
The children were not harmed, but Howe, 43, died on his bedroom floor.
Neighbours heard the children’s screams and rushed to the apartment. His wife called an ambulance and the police.
The ten children were seen crying and calling their father’s name and had to be consoled by family members.
Relatives have described the killing as a heartless act.
“How could you come into a house and see so many children with their father and murder him in front of them? These people are evil, demons, monsters.” the tearful relative said.
She said everyone is now concerned for the children, who are traumatised.
“These children witnessed their father being killed, taking his last breath on the ground. Some of them are not talking, they are just in a trance is really sad just sad,” she said.
While Howe’s widow works, relatives said he was the family’s main breadwinner. Relatives said the children will need all the support they can get.
“Now this is a single mother who has been forced to take care of these children on her own. She really needs all the help she can get.”
Staff of the Social Development Ministry were expected to visit the family on Thursday.
Howe was a supporter of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) and had recently been on a walkabout with the members of the party last week. MSJ leader David Abdulah sent his condolences to Howe’s family. He said the tragic news had left party members devastated and in shock.
Abdulah said Howe was not involved in any illegal activities and was a family man who worked hard to provide for and protect his children.
Howe worked at the Community Based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP).
An autopsy on Howe’s body was expected to be done on Thursday at the Forensic Science Centre.
No arrests were made this morning. Homicide Region Three police are investigating.