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Contractor murdered over refusal to pay HDC ‘contract tax’ from criminals in Maloney

Extortion demands and threats led to the shooting death of contractor Kevin Baker on August 29th behind building 8 in Maloney. Police reports said that around 1.10 p.m. on August 29, Barker was shot dead behind Building 8, by three men in dark clothes, all wearing masks, two armed with rifles and one with a handgun. The gunmen ambushed Baker and opened fire on him before running off. Crime scene investigators recovered 19 spent 5.56 mm shells, 24 spent 9 mm shells, and three 5.56 mm rounds of ammunition at the scene.

Police sources said the “tax” was a $20,000 extortion fee demanded from Barker and when he didn’t pay up, his murder was ordered from behind bars. Investigators believe the father of four was targeted because he brazenly refused to give in to repeated demands from criminals.

His mother, Gillian French said she begged her son not to take the job for HDC, because of reports of other contractors being threatened. She begged him to turn down a contract he was awarded under HDC’s rehabilitation project but he told her he was not “taking needles” (being intimidated) by the gangsters who demanded he give them 20 percent of the estimated $90,000 contract.

French said about an hour before her son was gunned down, she was with him at the back of their apartment building looking at a primed wall that was being prepared for painting. The contract was scheduled to be completed within 14 days. The distraught mother said: “When I heard the shots, I knew was my son because where the gunshots were coming from, I know I left him in that area. I jumped up off my bed and just stood up and was talking to myself saying ‘Gillian don’t go outside, shots ringing out.’ Is when shots stop, and I hear people bawl out is when I went outside and see him lying down there.”

Police are said to be conducting investigations into the extortion racket and murder.