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Two killings in two days

South labourer killed in drive-by shooting
Published: 
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Stefon Brereton... shot seven times

The country’s recent hike in murder continued yesterday as assailants opened fire on four men leaving one dead and another injured in a drive-by shooting in Princes Town. The man’s death took the homicide rate to two. Last year’s figure stood at 351. Police in south Trinidad said they were bracing  for reprisal killings after 23 year old Marcus Cooper of Mandingo Road, Indian Walk was shot dead on New Year’s night. Another occupant of the car, 27 year old Stefon Brereton, a labourer, up to yesterday remained warded in stable condition at the San Fernando General Hospital. He was shot seven times in the leg and back. Another occupant of the vehicle, Ojo Sambury 21, was grazed by a bullet and taken to hospital where he was treated and discharged. 

 
A fourth man, Denzil Johnson, escaped injury. Detectives said the men, who were liming, were travelling along Mandingo Road in a Mazda 323 driven by Cooper. Investigators said as the victims’ car reached the corner of Mandingo Road and Fifth Company, a vehicle pulled up alongside them and opened fire before driving off. Cooper was killed instantly when he received several gunshot wounds to the head and chest. Police said the description, colour and registration of the assailants’ vehicle remain unknown. A party of officers led by Superintendent Steven Maynard, ASP Zamsheed Mohammed and Inspector Matthew Noel visited the scene. A search was conducted for the suspects but up to late yesterday there had been no arrests.
 
In an interview, Cooper’s father, Earl Cooper, said he believed his son’s death stemmed from a recent altercation with a villager. The grieving father said days before Christmas, his son got into a heated row with a man during which there were death threats. He said: “A couple of days before Christmas, he and a man had a confrontation. I was told that a man and two others came around Marcus and were looking for bacchanal. They threw rum on him and he (Cooper) did not take that as it was a real embarrassing thing. After the confrontation everyone left and come down the road and the same fella Marcus had the confrontation with, came behind him. Cooper said the man had approached one of his nephews and held him up with a gun which he fired into the air. At Brereton’s home his father, Leroy Johnson, said he believed his son was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
 
He said Brereton, a father of three, was only liming with the men for the New Year’s. He said Brereton was in stable condition, scheduled to undergo surgery. Meanwhile at Sambury’s home, his mother Gemma Small, said her son was only hopping a ride in Cooper’s car to get home. Small, who lives a few houses away from the crime scene, said her son was exiting the vehicle when the gunmen opened fire. Sergeant Persad of the Princes Town CID is continuing investigations.
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