Trinidad Guardian:– A daring robbery at a San Fernando bar Saturday was short-lived for a bandit who was killed during a shootout with police.
He has been identified as Dillon Clarke of La Romaine.
Reports stated that around 1 am, Clarke, who was armed with a pistol, and another bandit entered Bal’s Bar along Phillipine Road in Hermitage Village, San Fernando and ordered patrons and employees to lie on the floor. There were 10 patrons in the bar at the time. One of the bandits then entered the area behind the counter, stealing the night’s sale, cigarettes, a laptop and other items.
The other bandit searched the patrons, stealing mobile phones, cash and other valuables. They also took the patrons’ keys to their vehicles.
But one of the victims was able to contact police during the robbery and officers from the La Romaine Police Post who were patrolling the area responded quickly. Police said as officers approached the bar, one of the bandits ran off while another shot of them. The officers returned fire, hitting the gunman several times. He collapsed on the roadside and died within minutes.
One female victim who did not want to be identified told Guardian Media that she and her friend were lying on the floor when one of the bandits pulled her chain. She said after seeing that her friend’s chain was bigger, the bandit struggled and managed to unhook her friend’s chain before they fled the scene. She said after a moment of silence they heard gunshots, which created more panic inside the bar.
“Our impression was that they (bandits) was shooting at the bar, now to realise after the gunshots stopped that it was actually the police. However, it was when the police came in we realised what was going on,” the shaken woman said.
Officers recovered a loaded pistol from the dead bandit. A grey Nissan AD Wagon was also seized. A search continued yesterday for the other suspect.
The officers were praised for their work by an employee who said they responded within five minutes of the call for help. The bar remained open for business yesterday.