Saturday, February 22, 2020

T&T Police Kill 4, Arrest 2 After Family Held Hostage

Trinidad Guardian:– An Aranguez fam­i­ly was in full praise of the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice yes­ter­day af­ter of­fi­cers foiled a rob­bery at their home in the wee hours of Sun­day morn­ing, shoot­ing dead four ban­dits and ar­rest­ing two oth­ers.

Guardian Me­dia vis­it­ed the scene of the po­lice killing yes­ter­day and spoke to one of the vic­tims who asked not to be iden­ti­fied as he said his fam­i­ly mem­bers were still fear­ful for their safe­ty.

The man said he was asleep around 1 am when he was awak­ened by a rel­a­tive who told him there was a group of men stand­ing in the fam­i­ly’s front yard. That rel­a­tive, he said, had checked the fam­i­ly’s CCTV cam­era sys­tem and no­ticed the men.

He said his fam­i­ly tried un­suc­cess­ful­ly to hide from the men by bar­ri­cad­ing them­selves in a room but the door to the room was bro­ken down by the masked men.

The man said he nev­er ex­pect­ed his fam­i­ly home to be vi­o­lat­ed in such a man­ner.

He said if the fam­i­ly did not have CCTV cam­eras set up, no one would have known of the men’s pres­ence be­fore they en­tered the house.

“We were lucky some­one was awake to see them out­side or things could have been dif­fer­ent. I re­al­ly must com­mend the po­lice, their re­sponse time was amaz­ing, the longest wait was wait­ing for the emer­gency op­er­a­tor to an­swer, they were very fast in get­ting here,” he said.

He said when the men dis­cov­ered his fam­i­ly hid­ing, they or­dered a fe­male rel­a­tive to show them where the fam­i­ly’s jew­el­ry and oth­er valu­ables were kept.

“They didn’t hit us or any­thing, it looked like they just want­ed to see what they could get. The ones in the room with us were telling the oth­ers, “Bring the gun, bring the gun,” but they had knives with them, I didn’t see the gun they were talk­ing about.”

He said the ban­dits took keys for the fam­i­ly’s ve­hi­cles, mon­ey and jew­el­ry and were about to es­cape with the loot when the po­lice ar­rived.

“They left our cars and one of theirs. One set of them dri­ve off in one of the cars they come in and the rest run away.”

Ac­cord­ing to a re­lease by the TTPS, of­fi­cer of the North East­ern Di­vi­sion Task Force (NEDTF) re­spond­ed to the fam­i­ly’s call and saw five men in a white Nis­san Almera about to leave the scene of the rob­bery.

The men be­gan shoot­ing at the po­lice ve­hi­cle and drove on­to Sama­roo Street, Aranguez with po­lice in hot pur­suit.

The shootout end­ed with four of the five ban­dits wound­ed, while the fifth man­aged to es­cape. The four were tak­en to hos­pi­tal, where they died while re­ceiv­ing treat­ment. Two more ban­dits who es­caped the scene on foot were al­so held and tak­en in­to cus­tody.

Two of the dead ban­dits were iden­ti­fied by po­lice as Miguel Cox and Keshorn Cox, both of Chi­napoo Vil­lage, Mor­vant. Up un­til press time, the oth­er two de­ceased men were not iden­ti­fied.

Po­lice say two guns with 19 rounds of am­mu­ni­tion in to­tal were found in the car.

Res­i­dents along Sama­roo Street were al­so in full praise of the po­lice yes­ter­day, as they re­port­ed hear­ing a vol­ley of gun­shots in the ear­ly morn­ing con­fronta­tion.

That sen­ti­ment was echoed on so­cial me­dia, as pho­tos of the four dead men were wide­ly cir­cu­lat­ed yes­ter­day morn­ing.

On the Face­book page called “In Sup­port of the Trinidad and To­ba­go Po­lice Ser­vice” the pho­tos were post­ed with the cap­tion, “A grim re­minder of what hap­pens when you en­gage the Trinidad and To­ba­go Po­lice Ser­vice in a gun­fight.”

Five hours af­ter it was pub­lished, the post had al­ready been shared over 2,400 times with over a thou­sand com­ments, heap­ing praise on the of­fi­cers for their quick and dead­ly re­sponse.

So far for the year there have been 12 po­lice killings.

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