Trinidad: Hurt lover kills self on ex’s doorstep after carrying out shooting attack

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Dil­lon Be­dassie

By Trinidad GuardianDecember 23, 2018

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Po­lice said Dil­lon Be­dassie, 24, of South Oropouche, went to the home of his ex-girl­friend Tr­isha Ra­goonaths­ingh around 3.30 am on Fri­day where he first fired sev­er­al shots at the house.

Ra­goonaths­ingh’s broth­er Jonathan Moore, 17, who was stand­ing out­side the house, was shot in the chest and foot dur­ing the at­tack. Be­dassie al­so fired at Ra­goonaths­ingh’s moth­er when she opened the door af­ter hear­ing the shots and her son scream­ing. She was forced to close the door and re­treat in­side to pre­serve her own life.

Po­lice said Dil­lon then shot him­self to death on the steps of the house.

Moore was ex­pect­ed to un­der­go a sec­ond surgery yes­ter­day at the San Fer­nan­do Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal. Po­lice said he was in a sta­ble but se­ri­ous con­di­tion.

When the Sun­day Guardian vis­it­ed Moore’s home yes­ter­day, neigh­bours said no one has been at the house since Fri­day night. They said the fam­i­ly re­cent­ly moved in­to the area and they had no con­tact for them.

“That was re­al­ly shock­ing, we still trau­ma­tised by this whole thing,” said a neigh­bour, who did not want to be named.

The Sun­day Guardian al­so vis­it­ed Be­dassie’s home but a per­son on the prop­er­ty said his rel­a­tives were not at home.

The sto­ry sparked a de­bate on so­cial me­dia, with some ar­gu­ing that women put them­selves in these sit­u­a­tions when they do not choose their men wise­ly.

Con­tact­ed last evening, women’s rights ac­tivist and at­tor­ney Lynette See­baran-Suite said she was not aware of the in­ci­dent, but said vic­tim blame was not help­ing the sit­u­a­tion.

Say­ing that such state­ments were un­fair to the vic­tim, she said, “A per­son will not go around demon­strat­ing the signs that they are un­sta­ble or they may not be un­sta­ble but they may be­come un­sta­ble as a re­sult of the threat to the re­la­tion­ship. It has to do with a more sys­temic prob­lem.”

She said part­ners have to be taught how to spot warn­ing signs and how to guard and hide them­selves, but they need sup­port. She said pro­pos­als put for­ward by the Equals Op­por­tu­ni­ty Com­mis­sion, which she chairs, for the amend­ment to the Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Act to ad­dress key is­sues on the pro­tec­tion of women in such sit­u­a­tions in­volves a mul­ti-faceted ap­proach.

“We have been sug­gest­ing a cri­sis in­ter­ven­tion mech­a­nism be put in place so that when there are signs that can be ob­served by per­sons around a part­ner, that the oth­er part­ner is slip­ping off the rails, there can be an in­ter­ven­tion and make an in­quiry as to what is the prob­lem of the re­ject­ed part­ner.”

See­baran-Suite said a sup­port sys­tem was al­so need­ed for vic­tims try­ing to ex­it an abu­sive re­la­tion­ship. How­ev­er, she said the per­pe­tra­tor and not the vic­tim should be re­moved from the home. In such a sit­u­a­tion, she said mea­sures have to be put in place to en­sure the per­pe­tra­tor does not re­main at large and con­tin­ue to ter­rorise the vic­tim.

With the new year ap­proach­ing, See­baran-Suite al­so said she looks for­ward to an im­prove­ment in the train­ing of po­lice of­fi­cers on how to deal with do­mes­tic vi­o­lence at the lev­el of the po­lice ad­min­is­tra­tion and acad­e­my. She said do­mes­tic vi­o­lence mat­ters al­so need­ed to be ex­pe­dit­ed in the mag­is­trates’ court.

“An im­prove­ment in the as­sign­ment of mag­is­trates and the punc­tu­al at­ten­dance of mag­is­trates and pay at­ten­tion to deal­ing with do­mes­tic vi­o­lence mat­ters in an ex­pe­di­tious man­ner,” she said.

She said an­oth­er is­sue that has to be looked at is ed­u­ca­tion and pre­ven­tion.

“What do we teach chil­dren from the ear­li­est stages, what they learn at school, what do they learn at home, in their church­es, in their so­cial clubs, how to be a man, how to be woman and how to have re­spect­ful re­la­tion­ships be­tween men and women.”

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