Murdered Arima teens were bound, forced to kneel facing each other

Thursday, September 22, 2016 - 06:00

Inseparable teenage cousins —Osama Washington and HakeemCharles — were murdered just after they awoke to pray at their home at Dump Road, Heights of Guanapo, Arima, yesterday.

Police said residents heard gunshots around 6.30 am and later found Washington, 16, and Charles,18, bleeding from gunshot wounds. Washington died in the house while officers took Charles to theArima Health Facility where he died.

This latest double murder occurred five days after another two teens were executed. Last Friday,the bodies of Enterprise residents Zion Salvary, 16, and JeremiahBrown, 18, were found by a Water and Sewage Authority(WASA) employee in Valencia.Each teen had been shot three times at close range in the back of their heads.

Their hands were tied behind their backs and they were made to kneel facing each other before they were shot. The teens were buried yesterday, the T&T Guardian was told. Speaking yesterday, friends of Charles and Washington said the two were innocent.

When the T&TGuardian visited the scene, a group of men said they shared the home with the deceased and they would get justice for the “disrespect.” One man, who did not want to be identified, said the two gunmen attempted to shoot him too but missed.

“Them (killers) come for everybody.Is about four to five people was staying here. Them boys was like my children, them grow with me. Them used to call me father.Justice has to be served, is two youths, 15 and 17, them ain’t get to see life yet,” the man said.

Asked about a possible motive for the attack, the man, who said the murder scene was once a chicken farm, claimed it may have had something to do with an incident involving another teen in the area months ago.He also suggested that corrupt police officers may have been responsible for the death of the youths.

The men said the killers opened fire through windows in the house before escaping in a waiting vehicle.One of the men said Charles was arrested by police last Friday and released on Monday. He added that Charles, himself and others were released around 3 am from the Cumuto Police Station and told to walk home, which they did.

Up the hills of Heights of Guanapo,near the abandoned site where a religious adviser to former prime minister Patrick Manning sought to erect a church, relatives of the cousins, who lived a stone's throw away from each other, said they were inseparable from as far back as could be remembered.

The men, who also did not want to be identified, said the mothers of the teens were sisters who were great mothers. The women were too distraught to speak.Autopsies were to be done on the teens yesterday but relatives said they were not emotionally stable to view the bodies and they were put off to today. The three men said the teens both came from“strong family backgrounds.”

Their killings pushed the toll for the year to 333.