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Feb 27, 2019

Understanding the Spate of Gun Violence in Peini

As the families of Oscar Humes and Kevin Moro prepare to lay their loved ones to rest, residents of Punta Gorda are still reeling from Monday night’s double murder. The Police Department, meanwhile, has stepped up presence in the town to avert further violence but there have been no arrests. The two friends were inside a house on Main Street in Punta Gorda when they were shot and killed. The deadly hit on the duo is widely believed to have been prompted as pay back for the execution of Jordy Flores in January. Since Flores’ murder a rash of violence spread through the town culminating in Monday night’s double murder. News Five’s Isani Cayetano connects the dots in the Punta Gorda incidents.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Making sense of the recent wave of crime and violence that has gripped Punta Gorda begins with a critical look at what has been happening in and around town since January twenty-ninth.  That Tuesday evening around news time, a deadly spray of bullets claimed the life of thirty-year-old Jordy Flores.  He had just been released from the hospital several hours earlier, when he was executed in gangland fashion.  An individual, yet to be arrested, showed up in front of Flores’ residence, called for him by name, placed an order for a small quantity of marijuana, then shot him multiple times in cold blood.  On the morning after, I spoke with Kentroy Paulino, who at the time shared his grief, but also made it very clear that the family would not avenge his brother’s death.

 

File: January 30th, 2019, Kentroy Paulino, Brother of Deceased

Kentroy Paulino

“Ih sad and ih hurt but, you know, the good man, leave it all up to him, to he, soh.  We wahn cry, we wahn bury the man.  We noh wahn no problem.  He noh eena beef cause he noh got that, but the man guide ihself and he know weh he mi di do and the person who think dehn responsible, God send them.  Money, gun, evil, you decide who or whatever you wahn do and da time da  mi da time.”

 

Paulino’s words may have been heartfelt, but it was difficult not to notice the conflict and frustration that was very much palpable among others who were around at the time of the interview.  By all accounts, Jordy Flores, also known as Veinte, was an influencer among his peers and it is not exaggerated to think that there would be reprisal in the wake of his murder.  At the time, Deputy Officer Commanding Punta Gorda Police, Inspector Bernard Reyes stated that they had detained three persons and that a fourth was being sought in connection with the execution.  He also mentioned that the department was reaching out to Flores’ family in an effort to suppress any retribution.

 

Insp. Bernard Reyes

File: January 30th, 2019, Insp. Bernard Reyes, Deputy O.C., Punta Gorda Police

“We are yet to go back to the family and discuss issues with them, as we were with them up to like after eleven o’clock last night.  So we are supposed to go back there and discuss certain issues with them today.”

 

In the days that followed, another strange occurrence began unfolding.  Residents were waking up to their vehicles on fire.  It is not clear whether these cases of arson are in any way related to the homicide, however, the respective investigations served to stretch an already thin CIB office. When asked about these events collectively, here’s how Commissioner of Police Chester Williams responded.

 

File: February 26th, 2019, Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

Chester Williams

“We know that the issue of gang involvement in criminal activities in the south seems to be picking up speed and it may have reached a stage where containing it may be difficult for it to be done with just the input of the officers of the southern area.  So, from the police headquarters level, using our specialized units we are down on the ground and we will be hunting down these persons who are involved and we intend to catch them.  Most importantly, we want to see how we build cases on them so that they can be charged and put away.”

 

The same warning is also being put out to the killers of Oscar Humes and Kevin Moro.  The childhood friends were murdered on Monday evening inside a residence on Main Street in Punta Gorda.  The hit has all the outward signs of a retaliation.  From an anecdotal point of view, however, it is believed that the spate of shootings stem from Flores’ murder.

 

Sr. Supt. Sandra Bodden

File: February 26th, 2019, Sr. Supt. Sandra Bodden, Southern Regional Commander

“Again, it is only information, but yes the information is showing that there is some connection between this shooting and a shooting that occurred previously that resulted in the death of Jordy Flores.”

 

Similarly, it is based on hearsay, until proven otherwise, that these heinous crimes are being committed by outsiders.

 

Edward Broaster, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations)

Edward Broaster

“The fact that people have free movement within our country, individuals came here and came to live and brought their influence and that’s an indicator that we had through our investigation throughout the day.”

 

It has been a prevailing thought since the shooting death of Flores a few weeks earlier.

 

Isani Cayetano

“This is the third murder in a few weeks.  You had the Jordy Flores incident, then you had the shooting incident yesterday morning, nobody was injured, but then you had the double murder last night.  Do you guys as young men in Punta Gorda Town fear for your safety considering the fact that perhaps this is something new that is being introduced to PG?”

 

Brandon Genus

Brandon Genus, Brother of Kevin Moro

“Well, definitely, definitely.  I think everybody should be scared for their life because yesterday, for example, dehn noh even worry.  Big day, da place da wahn very busy street and somebody else coulda mi get killed yesterday besides my bredda, you know, and dehn thing ya haftu stop mein.”

 

As a result, police have ramped up their presence on the ground here.

 

Edward Broaster

“We will have extra patrols up and about Punta Gorda to ensure that we don’t have a repeat of this situation.”

 

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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