Gunmen sprayed bullets at the car in which she was travelling
Senseless gun violence in the city has again claimed a life, but this time, it is the life of a mother of two children, Gayle Escarpeta, 27, of the Fabers Road Extension area, who was shot to death around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 3, in the Rocky Road Bridge area of the city by unknown gunmen who fired at the vehicle she was travelling in.
Escarpeta was employed at Youth for the Future as a computer program assistant. When police went to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), they saw her with three gunshot wounds. She had been shot twice in her right arm and had also been shot in the right armpit. She was declared dead on arrival at the KHMH.
Police said that their initial investigation revealed that Escarpeta had been travelling in a white Mazda Tribute on George Street with a male friend, who was the driver, when they were approached by a green car with four male occupants inside.
Without provocation, one of the men from inside the green car reportedly fired several shots into the Mazda Tribute. The assailants then drove away.
However, reports to Amandala are that the Tribute was travelling on West Canal in the area of Rocky Road Bridge towards Racecourse Street, which was “up-stop,” contrary to the flow of traffic, when they were approached by a vehicle coming from Racecourse Street into West Canal.
When the driver of the Tribute realized that he was going “up-stop”, he tried to turn around the vehicle, and at the same time, heard shots being fired.
He then saw that Escarpeta had been hit, and drove immediately to the KHMH. The assailants reversed out of West Canal into Racecourse Street, and sped off.
Police say that they are following some leads, but the motive for the attack on the couple is still unknown. However, they believe that Escarpeta was not the target of the attack, but rather, it was a random act of violence in a high crime area.
Escarpeta, the mother of a boy and a girl, had been working with Youth for the Future for about five years. Her supervisor and friend, Glenda Gordon, said that she was at home on Saturday morning when her sister called and told her that Gayle had been killed.
She said she is still in disbelief. Gordon said that she talked to Gayle around 11:00 that same Thursday night, and everything seemed fine.
Gordon said that she has known Gayle since 2008, and she (Gayle) embraced life, was always in a good mood and was always coming up with ideas to improve and develop the unit. She was committed and disciplined, lived up to her words and stood up for what she believed in.
She was a good worker and will be missed by the entire Youth For the Future staff and the Ministry of Human Services, said Gordon, who added that this week is Youth Week, which began yesterday, Sunday, and a special tribute was done to honor her.
Lincoln Kelly, Ecarpeta’s fellow worker, said that Escarpeta would light up a room when she entered it. He described her as positive, joyful, kind, and friendly. Kelly said that the whole unit is mourning, and they are still in a state of shock at her sudden death. She will be badly missed, said Kelly.
Gayle Escarpeta is survived by her two children, her parents, brothers and sisters, and her extended family of Youth For the Future.