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Gunmen riddle car with bullets

Published: 
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Wrong turn leads to death in Cunupia
Howard Drive in Cunupia where Ramesh Ramoutar, inset, was killed on Thursday. PICTURE SHASTRI BOODAN

Police are investigating whether a wrong turn into a community rife with gang violence led to the murder of a 49-year-old coconut wholesaler on Thursday night.

According to reports, shortly before midnight Ramesh Ramoutar and his 31-year-old friend Kerron Rampersad, both of Farm Road, St Joseph, went to meet a friend at a liquor mart at Richard Lane, Cunupia, but got lost and took a wrong turn into Howard Drive, a narrow dead-end road.

As Rampersad was attempting to reverse, however, they were ambushed by a group of gunmen who shot at the car before running away.

Rampersad, who was shot once in his left leg and grazed on his arm, still managed to manoeuvre out of the road and drive to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope.

Ramoutar, who sustained several gunshot injuries, was pronounced dead on arrival. Rampersad was treated and later gave an account of the incident to police when they arrived at the hospital yesterday. The vehicle was impounded for ballistic testing.

When a news team from the T&T Guardian visited Ramoutar’s community yesterday evening, his friends and relatives had already gathered for his wake.

They suggested that Ramoutar was attacked by the gang members because they mistook him for a member of the rival Rasta City gang, based on his hairstyle.

“He was at the wrong place at the wrong time but he was a good boy,” one man said.

“Somebody pick him up to go with him to check his girlfriend and I don’t know where they went for this tragedy to happen,” another said.

They also described his death as a major loss for the community.

“He was one of the few persons in Bangladesh that a youth could come to and get a juice or a hot dog,” he said.

However, homicide detectives are also exploring the possibility that the men went to the area to engage in a drug deal that went sour. A concrete motive for the incident is yet to be established.

Ramoutar’s killing raised the murder toll for the year to 206. He was the second businessman working in the coconut industry to be murdered this month, although both incidents are not connected.

On May 2, Narendra Sahadeosingh, of Syne Village, Penal, was murdered while plying his trade in Debe. Sahadeosingh and a worker were offloading his truck when a car drove by and the occupants shot at them. Sahadeosingh was killed but the 17-year-old worker survived.

Investigations are continuing into both incidents.

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