'A lot of bodies will fall'
BY VALDEEN SHEARS-NEPTUNES
Fear and tension shroud the once-peaceful village of Spring View, Petit Valley. The few residents who spoke with the media yesterday said they were scared, following a declaration of an all-out gang war.
Their fear follows Sunday's shooting death of Jamaat al Muslimeen member and reputed gang leader Glenroy "Malick" Charles.
Vows to avenge Charles' death were made openly on Sunday morning by several residents—said to be his associates—in the pre-sence of policemen and soldiers.
Less than three hours later, 26-year-old Marlon "Tall Paul" Scott was gunned down in front of his mother at Powder Magazine, Cocorite.
A resident said this had not satisfied angry gang members, for while Scott was fingered as one of the men seen stalking Charles, he did not kill him.
Charles' murder has left residents afraid to go out, even to the shops.
Threats by angry gang members on Sunday are not being taken lightly.
By evening that day, a self-imposed curfew took effect—except for those whose jobs demanded late hours.
Villagers were indoors well before 5 pm.
A Petit Valley man said he recalled hearing heavy vehicular activity in and out the village later that night, with men loudly cautioning gang members to stay indoors.
The only sign that residents were in their homes yesterday were opened windows.
"Boy, right now people don't know if is to stay or go," a resident said.
"If you hear people talking, they studying to leave the area.
"The way things is right now, leaving you house to go to work could mean accidental death."
Some are seriously contemplating moving out.
A man even admitted to calling in sick yesterday because he was afraid to leave for work in the predawn hours.
He said that a friend of his, who once boasted about being fearless, was now worried about working his 2 pm to 10 pm shift.
At a shop, a customer entered to make a purchase.
He quickly demanded his goods, saying he wanted to be "off the front and back home."
The shop owner, who refused to gave his name, said the shop would be closed long before dark.
The business, which by noon yesterday had only seen a handful of customers, is usually opened until ten at night.
At a street near the spot where Charles was killed, several young men peered down the hill.
They remained partly hidden behind a concrete wall.
"That was they paymaster. Their god. Bet your bottom dollar lots of bodies go fall before the end of the month," a resident predicted.
At Cameron Road, a short distance from where Charles was murdered, another group of young men were engaged in a heated conversation.
A resident warned that it was not wise to approach them.
They men had been talking about the expected retaliation for Charles' death.
While several people praised Charles, saying he was influential in initiating peace between warring factions, a woman said his death was a "blessing in disguise."
"How could you be a drug lord and a peacemaker at the same time?" she asked.
"People need to be realistic. The man was supplying drugs and guns to youths to sell and do crime.
"He himself was a known criminal.
"Besides, if you live by the sword, some day you have to expect to die by it."
At Powder Magazine, Cocorite, where Scott was killed, residents refused to speak to reporters, demanding that no pictures be taken of the area.
©2004-2005 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited
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