Trinidad Guardian: Selwyn “Robocop” Alexis, 51, was murdered because he had pledged to expose the operations of the Unruly Isis gang, their affiliation and close networking with some members of two of the country’s major law enforcement agencies, the T&T Police Service and the T&T Defence Force.
Speaking with the T&T Guardian yesterday, near to where Alexis and two others were killed at Freedom Street, Chaguanas, on Sunday, a close affiliate of Alexis said that just before he was ambushed and killed, he had told a few people of his frustration with the threats and senseless criminal acts carried out by members of the gang.
“‘Robo’ (as Alexis was called) tried many times to promote peace again in the community but he was fed up with the constant disrespect he got from those unruly youths, the associate claimed. “Them show up to be real characters and Robo was ready to put his foot down and talk,” the affiliate said.
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.
But Alexis managed to kill one of his attackers, Thomas “Hamza” Sharpe, a known Unruly Isis member who had initially attempted to distract Alexis before the other gang members launched their attack out of a vehicle they had earlier stolen.
Yesterday, the affiliate said Alexis had first-hand information on how the Unruly Isis operated, who were the “influencers” in the gang and which law enforcement officers for whom they allegedly conducted “petty crimes”.
“Alexis had strongly believed that even some members of the media were being manipulated when they only ran what was given to them from some police officers. He found that they weren’t coming into the area to conduct unbiased and independent investigations to get to the bottom of what really was happening here in Enterprise,” the affiliate said.
The affiliate was speaking about the spate of murders which occurred in the community earlier this year, forcing police and soldiers to lock down the area for weeks.
It is alleged that the influence of some members of the gang was so far-reaching, that one of Alexis’ close male relatives allegedly abandoned his care and guidance to join the Unruly Isis.
“Robo felt sorry for the youths and how they were being led astray but they were being encouraged by some police officers and soldiers when they were only (allegedly) receiving high-powered assault rifles, high-tech hand guns and ammunition,” the affiliate said.
“Robo’s heart went out to them, especially knowing that most of them came from single parent homes also and that was the kind of person that Robo had become.”
The T&T Guardian was told that just recently was the first time in all his years of being a Muslim that Alexis observed i’tikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadan, where he stayed in the Enterprise Community Masjid keeping the fast and offering fervent prayers for his family, community and peace in the community.
A member of the mosque, who wished not to be identified, said that for some strange reason, Alexis knew that after Eid things were going to get worse in the community.
“I feel he knew that he was going to die but I know that he would not have gone down without a fight,” the mosque member said.
Cops detain Imam
Helen Lynch, the wife of Alexis’ close friend, Imam Morland Muakyil Abdullah, said yesterday that she knew Alexis was working along with her husband to attempt to restore peace in the community.
Ironically, Imam Abdullah, of the Enterprise Mosque in Crown Trace, was taken into police custody at 6 am yesterday. Asked for what reason, Lynch said she was mostly in the dark about it.
“Firstly, the police did not come in any hostile way. They came and spoke to him quietly and nicely and he left with them. I was told that he was needed by Intelligence but then I got a call saying that another set of police officers wanted to talk to him because they think that his life may be in danger somehow as well, following Robo’s murder,” Lynch said.
She and her husband were in the process of planning a one-year anniversary prayer event for her son, Ackmal Lynch, 22, who was also gunned down. Ackmal and his brother were at a construction site in Charlieville last July 22 when gunmen entered and shot them. Aqyil was shot in the leg.
“Robo’s killing in this time and my husband’s detention in police custody for the next 72 hours is a setback for us. I am satisfied though, how both of them worked together to try to bring back peace in the community. It’s a cause both of them fought for and I am sure, willing to die for,” Lynch said.
Asked if she was scared for her life and that of her husband, Lynch said she was not.
“I used to be very much afraid but after my son got killed I got the strength and I realised that we have to do something to protect others. Brothers are being killed and getting hurt and we need to do something because what they are doing is not right,” she said.
Plea for peace
In a tribute to his father yesterday, Alexis’ son, Kerron, said he learned a lot from his father over the years and saw him do everything to try to bring the youths together and for peace.
Alexis’ wife, Bernadette, said to comment on her husband would show her bias and dared the T&T Guardian to go to the older heads in the community to hear their views and opinions about Alexis.
“He was the kind of person that helped people in need, especially those who could not have afforded milk and pampers for their babies,” Bernadette said.
Alexis had had several brushes with the law in the past and was reputed to be the leader of a criminal gang himself.
But Freedom Street resident, Assraph Ali, 74, described Alexis as a good man.
“I knew him for the past 15 years when I moved into the area and I have never known him to be a bad man. I never asked him to do anything for me but he showed me the respect and I knew of people who he helped in one way or the other. It is sad he had to go that way but we need someone now to take over his legacy,” he added.
SOURCE: www.guardian.co.tt (Rhondor Dowlat)
FOR MORE TOP STORIES: http://www.cnc3.co.tt/latest-news