The trinidad Guardian / When gunfire erupted during a baby dedication ceremony yesterday, a member of the congregation at the Calvary Temple in Marabella tried to protect fellow worshippers by drawing his own gun. By the time the smoke cleared, Jessie De Larosa, 21, of Marabella, lay bleeding on the roadway.

Police said the incident occurred at around 9 am during the regular Sunday morning service at the Theresa Street church. A baby was about to be dedicated when loud gunshots were heard outside, sending members of the congregation and nearby residents scampering for safety.

“It sounded like firecrackers. We did not know what was going on but someone said they were shooting up in the air outside,” an eyewitness said. 

“We all felt concerned but we kept on praying because everything is possible with prayer.” 

An off-duty policeman who was at the church went to investigate. Neighbours said De Larosa, who was shot by the gunmen, remained on the road bleeding from his shoulder while church members called the police. 

Officers retrieved a .38 revolver from the scene and De Larosa was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital where he was warded in a stable condition yesterday. The baby dedication eventually took place around midday after police took statements.

Residents are calling for more police patrols in the area.

“It getting real bad here. 

“We want the police to patrol because I am sure some people will be too afraid to come to church here now,” one resident said.

PC Harrigin of the Marabella police station is continuing investigations.


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