JENSEN LA VENDE
For the Ramjit family, flooding is a yearly occurrence, an unwanted Christmas of sorts.
Relatives of Lorenzo Mc Leod, who police shot and killed moments after he stole a car Wednesday morning, say they had been expecting his death for almost five years,
Speaking with the T&T Guardian at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, yesterday, Mc Leod’s siblings, Rohan and Gita said their brother’s lawlessness began nine years ago after he stole his first car. Since then he has been in and out of prison for the same offence— larceny of cars.
According to reports, a man parked his car in the garage of his home on St Michael’s Road, Tacarigua at 8.15 pm on Tuesday and went to bed. When he got up around 1.40 am the following day he saw two men pushing his Nissan B15 out of the garage before driving off with it. Moments later the police intercepted the car along St Michael’s Road and a shoot-out ensued. McLeod, 31, was shot and taken to the Arima District Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 3.20 am. A revolver was recovered and his accomplice escaped.
Gita said after her brother’s first offence with the law in 2009 where he stole a car in order to earn cash to purchase his US Visa, the whole family came together to bail him out and offered support. She said when he was arrested a second time she said washed her hands of his lawless behaviour.
The siblings said Mc Leod was an excellent mechanic with the ability to do a diagnostic testing on any vehicle just by listening to it. They said of their parents six children, Mc Leod was the third child and the only involved in a life of crime.
Asked what others may learn from their family’s grief, Gita said: “My advice to parents is to keep talking to their children because it is six of us we are all doing well except for him. To the children I want to say there are always consequences for your actions. If you choose a life of crime then you should expect to die very young, sadly.”
Gita began crying as she said the actions of her brother were very selfish. She said the stress caused by jail visits and court appearance due to the actions of siblings could have a devastating effect on families.
She added that her brother spent so much time locked up that she referred to the Port- of- Spain Prison as “the hotel on Frederick Street” as he would spend almost half the year, every year since 2009 locked up for one offence or the other or sometimes on a warrant for missing a court date while he was locked up.
Gita added that the older siblings had to drop out of school to help support the family and Lorenzo wanted to study mechanics, so he did with his father, a straightener and painter and it was there his love for cars began and evolved. His Facebook page has photographs of several cars as well as himself posing by a Nissan Almera repeatedly. She added that the only thing that she could think of that may have deterred him from a life of crime was to give him her salary each month.