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Crime hits home
Imagine walking into your oneyear- old daughter’s bedroom and finding a spent shell a foot or so from her crib and a bullet hole in the ceiling.
This was the scene banker Mark Cape and his family were faced with when they went into his daughter Emeline’s bedroom last Sunday.
“I got sick one time, someone shot a bullet through the roof into my daughter’s room” Cape told the Sunday Guardian.
“I thought I lived in a safe neighbourhood, but nowhere seems to be safe any more,” he said.
Cape and his family live in a gated community in Diego Martin. He got the place because of the safety it seemed to offer.
Cape said when he picked up the 9mm spent shell off the floor of his daughter’s bedroom he felt a cocktail of emotions.
“I was in absolute shock, I was angry, hurt, upset but I was also very thankful that no one was injured,” Cape said.
He placed the spent shell in a plastic bag and took it to the Four Roads Police Station to file a report. Around 8.45 the previous night, Cape was at home taking a shower preparing to go to a Christmas lime with his wife when he heard a loud crashing sound.
Cape thought the sound was caused by Emeline dropping or breaking something.
However, when he exited the shower Cape saw his daughter playing quietly on his bed.
He went outside thinking the sound probably came from there but the place was quiet.
Cape and his wife eventually went out leaving their daughter in her grandmother’s care.
The next day, when Cape’s sister- in-law walked into his daughter’s bedroom she found the floor was feeling gritty and there was a hole in the ceiling.
That is when the spent shell was found and they realised what had taken place the night before.
Cape said he began to think about how badly the situation could have ended.
After telling his story to friends Cape found out that others have also experienced similar situations in areas not believed to be “hot spots”. He had heard of at least eight similar instances.
One woman told Cape that around four years ago while she was nine months pregnant, she and her husband heard a loud bang at their St Helena home.
When they checked the fridge where the noise seemed to have come from they found a spent shell on the ground.
They eventually found a bullet hole in one of their windows.
“I am not accepting this as the norm,” Cape said.
“Your home is supposed to be your safe place, it is supposed to be the place that you are most comfortable,” he said.
Cape said one week after the incident he still finds it hard to let his daughter sleep in her bedroom by herself.
“I keep wondering what could have happened,” Cape said.
Luckily for Cape this story has ended the way it did.
This has however not been the case for many Trinbagonians grappling with this country’s crime problem.
Last Saturday two year old Candy Loubon sustained gunshot wounds after an altercation between two men at her family’s Penal Rock Road, Moruga home escalated into gunfire.
A 66-year-old Moruga man has since been charged for the shooting while Candy remains at the San Fernando General Hospital with slugs from a 12-gauge shotgun lodged in her neck and leg.
But even with the difficulties facing Loubon she still has life, which sadly some 467 other people in this country cannot say.
This country’s murder toll for the year currently stands at 467.
The most recent killing was the shooting death of Roger Carter inside his car around 10.30 pm on Friday in Orchid Gardens, Pleasantville.
More than 4,400 people have been killed in this country over the past ten years, according to statistics from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service’s Crime and Problem Analysis Branch.
December has had a bloody start so far with some 21 murders being recorded for the first eight days of this month already.
The year started off with a deadly bang, with January so far being the deadliest month for 2017 with 53 murders being reported, CAPA’s statistics show.
And according to the statistics from January to October, the Northern Division—which spans from the Arima to Maracas-St Joseph—recorded the most number of murders with 86.
The Central Division had the second highest number of murders reported for the period with 69.
Tobago has so far recorded 12 murders this year.
The only year that more murders were reported in Tobago was in 2009 when there was 125.
This country hit an all time high in 2008 when the murder toll was 547.Since then, the lowest murder toll this country has experienced was in 2011 when a state of emergency was implemented. The 2011 murder toll was 352.
Trinidad and Tobago’s murder toll now is a far cry from what the figure was in 1990 when only 84 murders were reported in the country.
In that same year, New York City, which has a population of 8.5 million, reported 2,262 murders.
Trinidad and Tobago and New York City have, however, taken different paths since 1990.
As of September 1, New York City reported 179 murders.
In Trinidad and Tobago, the murder toll up to September 1 was 323, according to CAPA.