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Car wash owner, employee killed in midday gun attack
One of T&T’s top motorbike stuntmen, Naresh “Stunner” Bhawani, and his employee Sterling Joseph were both killed at Bhawani’s businessplace in a drive-by shooting yesterday.
The incident occurred shortly before midday at the Aqua Splash Car Wash, Caparo Valley Brasso Road, near Penco Gardens, while both men were washing a customer’s vehicle. They both died next to each other at the scene.
Subsequent to the shooting, police officers received information that the getaway vehicle was a white Nissan Tiida, licensed PDK 3638, and spotted the car entering Robinson Trace, Montrose.
They pursued the vehicle but the suspects managed to get away. Police said they believe the getaway vehicle was stolen sometime after 1 am yesterday.
At yesterday’s scene police recovered over 50 spent shells.
Officers said they received preliminary information that there was a hit out for Joseph, 26, of Lamont Street, Longdenville. Bhawani, 22, a father of a two-year-old girl, police said, was not the intended target and “innocently killed.”
The T&T Guardian was told that Joseph had an argument with a man who threatened him afterwards. Police said they have information that members of the Unruly ISIS gang in Enterprise, Chaguanas, played a “critical” role in the double murder, just like they did in Alexis’ murder.
Joseph’s aunt, Margaret Mann, of Maracas/St Joseph, said she was shocked over her nephew’s killing and believed that he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
“I never knew him to be involved in any badjohn thing or gangster thing. He used to hustle jobs and he was hustling at the car wash like he usually do. I am surprised at this. He never used to give any type of trouble and used to help everyone, especially his mother. His mother was expecting him today (yesterday) to do something for her and that’s when she got the call that he was killed,” Mann said.
Asked if she knew that he was threatened following a heated confrontation with a man recently, Mann replied: “He never said anything to us. He never told us that he had enemies.”
A relative of Bhawani said his father, Kitch, was too distraught to talk, but described Bhawani as a “pleasant, loving individual, who worked hard and carried out his passion of performing stunts on his bike.”
One of Bhawani’s close biker friend, Anthony Noriega, described him as the best bike stuntman, who was famous for performing “heart-stopping” stunts at car and bike shows all over the country.
Noriega said he was saddened over his untimely killing and called on the criminal elements to stop the violence.
“He enjoyed what he did and he was the one to bring a smile to everyone’s faces. This place gone mad. This country gone mad. All this violence needs to stop please and we all need to live in love and peace. Look another innocent soul just gone just like that,” Noriega said.
Police also said yesterday that they received intelligence that the men involved in yesterday’s double murder were the same men involved in the drive-by shooting on July 17, 2016, where Selwyn “Robocop” Alexis, 51, Kevin Escayg and Thomas “Hamza” Sharpe were killed at Freedom Street, Chaguanas, at Alexis’ car wash.
Alexis, a father of nine, and Kevin Escayg were killed after a group of men, believed to be Unruly Isis members, ambushed them outside Alexis’ carwash. Escayg was killed as he shielded his son, Kirchard Scott, from the bullets. Sharpe killed Alexis.
Investigations into yesterday’s murders, which took the number of people killed for the year to 74, are continuing.