Arima residents dive for cover as gunmen shoot at houses, cars

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One of two cars that were hit with bullets on Thursday night at Temple Street, Arima. - Photo by Angelo Marcelle
One of two cars that were hit with bullets on Thursday night at Temple Street, Arima. – Photo by Angelo Marcelle

Families getting ready to have dinner at Temple Street, Arima had to dive for cover when a volley of gunfire erupted outside their homes on Thursday night.

Residents of Pinto Road and Bellamy Street also reported hearing sporadic bursts of gunfire from automatic weapons at different times between 7 and 8 pm.

Arima police said no one has reported any deaths or woundings, but several reports of property damage were made.

Newsday visited Temple Street on Friday and spoke with residents.

Francis Luces said he has lived in the area for over 40 years but never heard gunfire for as long as he did on Thursday night.

Luces, who also runs a shop, pointed to several bullet holes in the iron gate of his shop.

Police investigate reports of houses being shot at in Temple Street, Arima on Thursday night. – Photo by Angelo Marcelle

“I don’t know what kind of guns those fellas were firing, but for it to blow a hole in an iron gate that should tell you how powerful it was.”

Luces, 72, said he was in his house when he heard the gunshots.

Another man, who asked not to be named, recalled seeing bullet holes in the window of his 15-year-old sister’s window.

He said the shooting appeared to be random, as houses and parked cars on the street were shot at.

“I would understand if they were shooting at someone or a group of people in particular, but they just shooting careless at anything.

“Thank God nobody was hurt or killed last night. Tonight I’m not so sure.”

Temple Street is a narrow street which connects to St Rose Street, which then reconnects to Temple Street.

A house on Temple Street, Arima with several bullet holes. – Photo by Angelo Marcelle

Residents said gunmen did not escape in a car, but fired shots as they walked past houses.

Luces said despite repeated suggestions to the police to increase patrols in the area, residents were frustrated and fearful after the shootings on Thursday night.

“We shouldn’t have to wait for the dust to settle and someone gets killed for the police to come.”

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