(Trinidad Guardian) – For the Sookraj and Poon families, Race Course Road in Carapo has long been a place of comfort and peace.
The interconnected families live close to one another, so relatives frequent each other’s humble, wooden homes for limes, lunches and everything in between.
On Saturday afternoon, however, the families were suddenly and violently torn apart. They lost five relatives – Jimmy Poon, Avinash Sookraj, Ryan Sookraj, Russell Poon and Radesh Pooran.
On Saturday, at around 2 pm, the group of men went fishing at a river off of Gangadeen Trace. Two hours later, at around 4:25 pm, they were executed – all shot in their heads. A sixth man is still unaccounted for.
When Guardian Media visited the area yesterday morning, relatives were gathered outside of the Poon home.
One woman said she lost her two sons, two brothers and a brother-in-law in the shooting.
While the adults all had blank, hollow facial expressions, a five-year-old girl in a dress smiled and played with another young child, seemingly unaware of what had taken place the day before.
“She doesn’t know. Last night she asked for him, but I didn’t tell her anything,” Jessica Sookraj, the girl’s mother said.
Jessica is the wife of 25-year-old Jimmy Poon – one of the five men executed. They were together for 10 years.
“It was a sad thing. They are gone,” she added.
Consumed by grief, she was unable to say much more. A short distance away, no more than five minutes by foot, the Poon’s relatives – the Sookraj family gathered in their home.
Sarah Sookraj, pregnant, slouched over herself on the family couch. Her brother, 26-year-old Ryan Sookraj, died in the shooting.
She last spoke to the father of a three-year-old on Friday evening.
“He never had problems with anybody. He wasn’t a troublesome person. He was a hardworking person. If he wasn’t working, he was hustling. He would either cut yard or sell coconut,” she said.
“We never expected something like this. He was not known as a bad person…They didn’t have to brutally kill him so, they overdo it. They didn’t have to shoot him so much. They didn’t have to shoot him in his head. He didn’t deserve that.”
Other relatives declined to speak, saying they were concerned for their safety. Police investigators were on the scene up until late yesterday evening.
Autopsies are expected to be conducted this week.