Thursday, January 2, 2014

Pastor Gunned Down, 1st Murder for 2014

slain: The body of Kevin Haneiph, 32, who was shot and killed outside his Pleasant Terrace,
Pleasantville, home around 4.50 p.m., lies next to his car which he was cleaning on Tuesday.
Photo Courtesy Ecpress
A PASTOR became the nation’s first murder victim for the year when he was shot dead during a robbery at his home at Mausica Road, Arima, yesterday morning. The family of the pastor remained distraught up to last night and opted not to speak with reporters when they were visited yesterday.

The police said that around 2.24 a.m. the neighbours of Pastor Casimir Khan, 52, heard several gunshots coming from the house and they called the police. Neighbours also saw when the pastor’s son Ezra Khan, 19, ran out of the house with what appeared to be a wound to his face and neck.

The police arrived within minutes and they contacted the Emergency Medical Services who took the teenager to the Arima District Hospital. Police said that the bandits may have been waiting on the pastor and his son to arrive home as the son had on a large gold chain that night when he went out with his father.

Police found the body of Pastor Khan lying on his back inside the house. He had been shot multiple times. He was dressed in a blue T-shirt, long black pants and a pair of slippers. A District Medical Officer arrived on the scene and ordered the removal of the body to the Port of Spain mortuary. A post-mortem is expected to be done today at the Forensic Science Centre.

Ezra Khan, who was first taken to the Arima Hospital, was later transferred to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex. He was transferred one more time, to the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) where he had to be placed on machines to assist him in breathing. This was due to the fact that one of the gunshots fired at him struck him in his lungs and another in his jaw. The bed which accommodates the necessary equipment is available only at the SFGH. He remains in critical but stable condition.

Pastor Christopher Toppin, one of Khan’s best friends for the last 15 years, described Khan as a happy out-going person. “He was my best friend for fifteen years. He always smiled, was always outgoing and he always encouraged people.”

Pastor Toppin continued, “He was honest and dedicated to family and as I said before always positive so everybody loved him because when he met you he always left you with something valuable.”

Homicide Bureau detectives are continuing investigations.
In another unrelated story which occurred in Valencia, a man, also a pastor, was attacked by a lone gun-wielding bandit early yesterday morning following which he managed to turn the tables on his would-be attacker and even took his gun.

Pastor Edson Smith told reporters that around 2.45 a.m. he was awakened by the sound of a man outside his La Platta Circular, Valencia, house shouting, “police, police!”

He suspected it was a bandit and greeted the gunman with a cutlass when he eventually broke down the door.

Pastor Smith said he was able to disarm the man and even took his gun and mask following which the bandit fled the area.

Valencia Police are continuing investigations.


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