The killing of two-year-old Aniah McCloud over the weekend clearly begs the question about the kind of nation Trinidad and Tobago has become, Archbishop Jason Gordon says.
Gordon made the comment on Sunday as he was asked his views on the continuing spate of murders in the wake of the killings of young Aniah and her father Stephon McLeod, 40, on Friday night in Tunapuna. McLeod and his daughter were ambushed and shot dead around 7.30 pm as they drove along Achong Trace, which is located off Balthazar Street in Tunapuna.
Yesterday, Gordon expressed sadness to see the increasing crime rate.
“It’s sad to see the crime rate really go right back up. I suppose the lockdown had the effect of cooling things down a bit but the killing of a two-year-old child is really beyond anything that we could understand in humanity,” the Archbishop said.
“It is beyond belief that somebody could do an act as violent as that to an innocent child. It really speaks to the poverty of our soul and to the poverty of our imagination and our nation that we can live in our country where these things can happen.”
Gordon said that it was time, as a country, that we “really ask the hard questions about: What kind of a nation are we really in? What kind of nation do we want to become? How do we deal with the kind of crimes that we are seeing?”
Archbishop Gordon also took the time to speak to the criminal elements, reiterating to them that “crime does not pay and it does not give you a long life span.”
“You are not going to be able to really have a life that makes any sense, to have a productive life, to have a life contributing to society, to have a life where what you do on a daily basis makes a society a better place. That’s what we all do and that’s what everyone should be aspiring too,” Gordon said.
He added that if one finds themselves taking away from society, its safety, peace and goodness, “then I would beg you please reflect! Think hard about what you are doing and make a shift to something productive, where you are making a contribution to society and good to society.”
Police probing the killings said yesterday that there were searching for at least four suspects they believe were responsible for the killings.
Investigators said based on information they received, several men were seen running out of a car after shooting McLeod and his daughter.
Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith, on his Facebook page, has also appealed to anyone with information about the suspects to come forward. He said these men should be captured swiftly.
Also recognising the celebration of Father’s Day yesterday, Archbishop Gordon described fatherhood as the most “powerful, beautiful and amazing gift that anyone can have.”
But in the same breath, he also added that fatherhood is a call to sacrifice.
“It’s a call to put the other first before yourself, it’s a call to sanctify your day by the love that you have for your children, your family, your spouse and if we lived fatherhood as it ought to be lived, our whole society will be a much better and much more powerful and caring society.”