(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) — Just over 24 hours after gang violence in Maloney Gardens led to the deaths of two men, a school teacher was gunned down on Tuesday night.
The latest victim is a school teacher identified as Jeremiah Franklin, of Building #15, Maloney Gardens.
At about 11.25 p.m. on Tuesday, Franklin was gunned down by unknown assailants.
Franklin had just completed his usual routine of tending to a garden outside of the building where he lived and had gone to a nearby parlour.
On his way back to his home, he was killed.
Over 20 spent shells were recovered.
Franklin was not known by police to be involved in any illegal activities. A senior officer told the Express: “He is known as ‘Teach’ and thing in the community. He gave free lessons to children who were struggling in the area, academically. He was well known and he was well loved. He was always one of the more vocal ones in the area, and would always call on the youth to put down their guns. There is no motive for this right now.“Right now, at best, one of the angles that police are looking at is that he was killed to send a message to persons in that building. There is a war, so to speak, going on between two groups of young men in that building community. Persons from one building are sending a message to the persons from the other building.
But it seems that people with no connections, innocent bystanders if you will, are getting caught up in the escalating violence”.
Franklin was an “avid gardener” and was always outside tending to his plants at late hours of the night.
Police say it was possible that Franklin was targeted simply for being outside and it was perceived that he may have known or seen the shooters from Monday night’s incident which claimed the lives of 34-year-old Ramon Cyrillo and 36-year-old Azizi Jelani McKenna.
According to police reports, at about 8.25p.m on Monday, Cyrillo and McKenna were in the vicinity of Building #2, in Maloney Gardens, when they were shot by two armed men.
Both men died at the Arima District Health Facility.
McKenna was shot five times while Cyrillo was shot 11 times.
The murder toll now stands at 391.