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