Caleb Martineau, 16, was a motivated and industrious form four student of Tranquility Secondary School, who encouraged his friends to focus on moving forward in life.But he was shot dead on Saturday when a gunman, dressed in black, opened fire indiscriminately on Back Street, Le Platte Village, Maraval, while Martineau and others were celebrating his best friend’s birthday.
The incident happened at around 11.30 pm. Martineau was shot to the right side of his head. Two other people, 35-year-old Ric Toussaint and 18-year-old Lauranzo Pereira, of Le Platte Village were also wounded. Toussaint was shot in the neck and Periera was shot in the back.
All three were taken to a hospital where Martineau was declared dead. Toussaint and Pereira are in stable condition.
Martineau’s sister Kerdesha said he was shot dead just at the bottom of the flight of stairs leading to his house. She told Newsday, during a visit to the family’s home, that he was at his best friend’s house, just a stone’s throw away, preparing for the friend’s birthday party on Sunday. He left his best friend’s house to get a laptop to set up a music system for the party when he ran into the gunman’s line of fire.
“We were at home and we heard the shots. When we checked, we saw him lying at the bottom of the stairs,” his sister said.
“My dad’s car was shot up. The back of the car and the windows have bullet holes. My car was shot up too.
“His mother hardly would let him out. He would usually be inside by 6 pm. His friends begged for him to come out that night. This was the first time he ever went to a party.”
Martineau’s sister said he was loved by everyone in the community, because he encouraged the people around him to continue doing better for themselves. She described him as a handy and dependable person.
“If you look at the bottom of our stairs you would see everything he had for his car wash business. He used to wash all the cars in the community. If your car shut down, you could call Caleb. If you needed something drilled, you could call Caleb.”
She said he applied for work at Five Islands and hoped to use the money to buy a power washer so he could expand his car wash business. She added his main subject areas in school were electric documentation preparedness and management, and information technology. He was working towards getting a welding licence so he could do offshore welding.
The same way he motivated himself, he would also motivate his friends around him.
“He was always the one to push people. He would round up all his friends to go to school in the morning. He would contact a maxi driver and encourage people and say ‘Hey the maxi is leaving for 6.30 am, so get ready and go to school.’ They would wait by a concrete tank down the street to go to school. He used to tell them that they all had to go to school because they all had to make something of themselves.”
Relatives were not the only ones mourning his death. A neighbour stood at the steps where Martineau died and lamented loudly.
“This village needs justice,” she shouted.
“I pray that those who still have weapons on them now will put them down. I pray that they would change their lives. Badness is out of style. A man who loves and fears God will walk with the King James version (Bible), not a gun.”