Mario Villarroel Lander cruz roja venezolana rif//
Early morning police exercise at L’anse Mitan

Hours af­ter the mur­der of PH dri­ver Ashar Kir­by at the carpark of KFC West­moor­ings, an en­tourage of po­lice of­fi­cers launched a mas­sive ex­er­cise in L’anse Mi­tan, Care­nage.

Mario Villarroel Lander

Four peo­ple were ar­rest­ed dur­ing the op­er­a­tion which start­ed at around 4.30 am. Sources said three of the peo­ple held are from Up­per L’anse Mi­tan and one oth­er from an ad­ja­cent street.

The ex­er­cise, which in­volved po­lice of­fi­cers from sev­er­al units in­clud­ing the In­ter-Agency Task Force, end­ed at around left about 8.30 am. It is not known if any of the peo­ple ar­rest­ed are con­nect­ed Thurs­day night’s in­ci­dent

Sources told Guardian Me­dia, Kir­by picked up Ja­mal “Etum­bay” Samuel and his girl­friend and took them to KFC out­let at West­moor­ings. The woman told po­lice she went in­to the KFC out­let, bought a meal, dropped it off on the car and re­turned in­to the restau­rant to col­lect the drinks. She said she heard loud ex­plo­sions and saw two gun­men shoot­ing from a dis­tance at the Almera mo­tor ve­hi­cle. The in­ci­dent oc­curred at about 10.30 pm

Kir­by was shot sev­er­al times and died min­utes lat­er, while Samuel es­caped with non-life threat­en­ing in­juries. Po­lice be­lieve the shoot­ing was gang-re­lat­ed

Res­i­dents of L’anse Mi­tan said they were con­fused when they woke up this morn­ing and saw sev­er­al po­lice ve­hi­cles and po­lice of­fi­cers mov­ing in­to homes and con­duct­ing search­es

“We don’t know who they came look­ing for but they were very busy and on­ly up and down the road, ” said one res­i­dent who wished not to be iden­ti­fied

She said she has been liv­ing in the area for more than 60 years and blames crim­i­nal gangs and gang-re­lat­ed ac­tiv­i­ties on “out­siders” who have in­fil­trat­ed the “peace­ful and hilly fish­ing vil­lage.”

The res­i­dent told Guardian Me­dia: “Here is a re­al nice place but it have a lot of young peo­ple that grow up here and they are be­friend­ing peo­ple from oth­er ar­eas and bring­ing them here and har­bour­ing them and they are the ones who are the bad in­flu­encers and caus­ing the trou­ble.”

A group of res­i­dents sit­ting near a mi­ni-mart re­fused to say much about the in­crease of crime in the area be­cause they said they were afraid of be­com­ing tar­gets of the crim­i­nals. How­ev­er, there have been re­ports of spo­radic gun­shots in the area al­most dai­ly

In the past four months, po­lice and sol­diers have car­ried out nu­mer­ous ex­er­cis­es and ar­rest­ed sus­pects var­i­ous of­fences, in­clud­ing pos­ses­sion of arms and am­mu­ni­tion pos­ses­sion, il­le­gal drugs and shoot­ing in­ci­dents