Bullets in bed - couple slain during home invasion

The bru­tal mur­ders of Guaico cou­ple Oni­ka Crafton and Ja­marie John have left the com­mu­ni­ty in shock and trau­ma­tised.

Po­lice said Crafton, 34, a moth­er of two, and com­mon-law hus­band John 32, al­so a fa­ther of two and an em­ploy­ee with the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture Land and Fish­eries, died in­stant­ly af­ter be­ing shot sev­er­al times about their bod­ies while they slept at Crafton’s Mulchan Street, Guaico Tamana Road home ear­ly yes­ter­day.

Po­lice said around 3 am, the cou­ple was asleep when men en­tered the house through a back door and fired up­on them in their bed­room. The cou­ple’s chil­dren ran to their rel­a­tives next door af­ter the at­tack.

Oni­ka’s broth­er Mar­cus Crafton, who lives at the side of his sis­ter’s house, told Guardian Me­dia he was awak­ened by loud ex­plo­sions and when he looked out­side he saw his nephew run­ning to­wards his house cry­ing and say­ing some­one had shot his moth­er and step­fa­ther. Mar­cus went to his sis­ter’s house where he found her and her hus­band dead. John was on the bed while Crafton was on the side of the bed.

Mar­cus still thanked God that his two nephews were not hurt.

Lar­ry, an­oth­er of Oni­ka’s broth­ers, said he had re­cent­ly fall­en out with her and was try­ing to mend their re­la­tion­ship be­fore her death.

“I was go­ing to make up with my sis­ter to­day, but there is no mak­ing up any more as she has gone,” he said.

Both broth­ers de­scribed their sis­ter as kind, car­ing and lov­ing and were con­fused as to who would want to kill her, as she was al­ways pleas­ant with peo­ple in the com­mu­ni­ty. Shantell Thomas, the moth­er of John’s two chil­dren, said he had been at her house ear­li­er in the day where he took out his chil­dren and brought snacks for them.

“We spoke with each oth­er, he gave me a sum of mon­ey and when it was 8 pm he said I am go­ing, kissed and hugged his two chil­dren, say­ing I will see you all on Sun­day,” she said as she ar­rived on the scene af­ter learn­ing of John’s death.

Thomas de­scribed John as a lov­ing per­son and a good fa­ther to his chil­dren. John’s moth­er Cyn­thia Cud­joe-John said her son was a very re­spect­ful and car­ing per­son.

“He was a nice child,” Cud­joe-John said be­fore break­ing down in tears.

Po­lice said they had no mo­tive for the killing, as both de­ceased were em­ployed with clean po­lice records.

Res­i­dents said they heard the gun­shots ear­ly yes­ter­day but were afraid to come out their homes. How­ev­er, they said they found it strange not a sin­gle dog barked dur­ing the at­tack and there are so many in this com­mu­ni­ty, which is com­mon­ly known as “Dog Al­ly.”

They al­so said they did not see any­one or any ve­hi­cle leav­ing Mulchan Street. Most of the res­i­dents spoke high­ly of the cou­ple, not­ing they were al­ways pleas­ant.

Dis­trict Med­ical Of­fi­cer Dr Bel­grave viewed the bod­ies and or­dered their re­moval to San­gre Grande Mor­tu­ary, from where they will be tak­en to the Foren­sic Sci­ence Cen­tre, St James, to­day for au­top­sies.

In­sp Jug­mo­han, Cpls Ram­nar­ine, Na­hoo, PCs Phillip, Rag­bir, Ma­habir, WPCs Tim­o­thy, Cu­pid Beck­ley from San­gre Grande Po­lice Sta­tion vis­it­ed the scene and Cpl Ho­sein of Arou­ca Homi­cide Bu­reau Re­gion II is in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

In an un­re­lat­ed in­ci­dent, a man was killed fol­low­ing a shoot­ing near the board­walk in Ch­aguara­mas on Sat­ur­day night.

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, shots rang out near the pop­u­lar West­ern hang­out and a sta­tion wag­on was seen speed­ing off.

A short while lat­er, Toongie De­piza was found bleed­ing. An am­bu­lance was called to his aid but he was pro­nounced dead at hos­pi­tal.

The mur­der toll now stands at 91.

- by Ralph Banwarie

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