Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds said he was appalled and stunned by the gruesome murder of four young people in the Heights of Guanapo on Thursday.
He described it as “heinous, violent and a tragic state of affairs”.
The siblings, Faith Peterkin, 10, Arrianna Peterkin, 14, Shane Peterkin, 17, and Tiffany Peterkin, 19, were gunned down at their Gravel Road, La Retreat Extension home around 12.25 am on Thursday as they were asleep. Five other family members were also shot but survived.
Speaking to media at the 2023 National Youth Awards at the Hyatt Regency hotel hours after the incident on Thursday, Hinds said just like the entire society, he was appalled and stunned by the gruesome attack.
“It was a very heinous and violent situation again, consistent with trends not only in Trinidad and Tobago but across the region, the use of firearms, most likely illegal,” Hinds said.
“Four persons lost their lives today, three teenagers and a ten-year-old. It’s a very tragic state of affairs, as I said, reflecting the levels of violence that exist, reflecting the presence of illegal firearms in the country and reflecting a general state of affairs that is very painfully undesirable. So, I am confident that the police will pursue this investigation to the depths of it and I’m really hoping that they can find the perpetrators and do what police have to do, prosecute them and let them account for their dastardly actions before the courts of Trinidad and Tobago.”
Hinds added, “Man’s inhumanity to man is becoming more and more evident by the hour, so something is happening to human beings generating those kinds of behaviours.”
He again asserted that illegal guns remained a scourge in Trinidad and Tobago and noted that more military officials may be deployed to curtail crime in the weeks ahead. He also revealed his ministry was earmarked to receive a sizeable allocation in the upcoming budget to ensure that the borders were secured.
“Recently, we have put even more (soldiers) out there to assist the police in trying to restrain the criminality that is affecting us. They are out there and perhaps in the next few weeks you might even see more,” Hinds said.
“Today (yesterday), for example, I had the joy of seeing a substantial amount of money to be targeted to a very, very critical element for me in national security as we try to improve the border security, because I told you that criminality that you saw last night in the Arima area, it reflected a trend where illegal firearms are used in 87 per cent of the murders that we have experienced,” he added.