Men, put down your guns


FILE PHOTO: Undertakers remove the body of one of the two men murdered at the South Park Mall, San Fernando, last Thursday. – AYANNA KINSALE

IN the aftermath of the brazen daylight double murder at South Park Mall earlier this week, San Fernando mayor Junia Regrello is urging men to put down their guns.

He said alternative solutions must be found to settle differences because too many murder victims are leaving behind fatherless sons who may fall into the same trap of crime and violence.

Noting that the two victims were from Arima and Morvant, Regrello sent a warning to criminals not to use San Fernando as a meeting or execution point.

Malik Straker, 31, also known as M1 and Molly and Joel Chambers, 29, were executed as they sat in a silver AD wagon in one of the car parks, located near the exit of the Solomon Hochoy Highway.

Straker of Arima, had a string of matters pending in the Arima and Sangre Grande Magistrate’s Court for attempted murder, false imprisonment, kidnapping for ransom, possession of ammunition and firearm, robbery with aggravation, malicious wounding and common assault.

Chambers, of Morvant was also known to the police, having been charged in 2018 for malicious damage, marijuana trafficking, dangerous driving, driving without a driver’s permit and without a certificate of insurance.

Reflecting on the spate of violence and murder of mainly men, Regrello observed that many of them were fathers.

“These gentlemen – Straker and Chambers – they have children. All of these persons killed in the last month, they have children.

“They are leaving fatherless children to grow up in the next generation.

“As mayor, as a father, a leader, I am urging young men to put down your guns and find alternative ways to settle your differences.”

He said crime and violence,” is hurting not only society, the community, economy and families, but your own children.

He said South Park is one of three popular malls in San Fernando which attracts lots of shoppers and a young crowd. He said incidents like these could affect their confidence in shopping or hanging out there.

Greater San Fernando Chamber president Kiran Singh agreed that such incidents do not augur well for business and customer confidence.

Regrello said he would like to see an increase in police presence in certain areas and has scheduled a meeting for next week with the regular police and municipal police to improve their game plan.

He said business owners, including those who own and own South Park, C3 and Gulf City Malls, will be invited.

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