(Trinidad Express) One suspect was killed, another was injured while another one was arrested following a robbery in Arima which led to a high-speed chase along the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway which culminated in an intense shoot-out between gunmen and the police at Broadway, Port of Spain.
The dead suspect was identified as 23-year-old Michael Headley of Factory Road, Arima.
According to the police shortly before 1 p.m. Headley and two other men robbed a man in Arima of cash, jewelry and a cellular phone following which they escaped in a maroon coloured Nissan Almera heading west along the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway.
The victim made a report to the Arima Police and an all-points-bulletin was sent out commanding officers on patrol to be on the look-out for the car.
Officers from the Northern Division also responded and went in pursuit of the car.
Police said that around 1 p.m. the car was spotted along the highway by officers of the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) who began chasing the vehicle.
As the driver attempted to turn right to head into Port of Spain near the lighthouse he lost control of the car and slammed into two cars before ramming a gate leading to a Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) car park located opposite the corporation’s headquarters.
Police said that Headley stumbled out the car, raised a chrome pistol and began firing at the police who were closing in on him. While firing, Headley began running into downtown Port of Spain.
The police were forced to duck as bullets whizzed past them. They then fired back at Headley hitting him several times about the body. He collapsed on the ground and was barely breathing by the time officers ran up to him and placed him into a police vehicle and took him to the Port of Spain General Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Another one of the bandits was injured as well and he too was taken to hospital while the third one remained on the scene for almost an hour being questioned by the police.
Contract workers who were carrying out refurbishment works at a museum located along Broadway called reporters to show bullet holes that had been punched into the building they were working on.
“We could have died,” said one of the men.
In fact, none of them wanted to be named.
One said that just outside the museum is a pond where live fishes are kept. He said that a woman and her son were standing near the pond when the Nissan Almera first crashed into two cars then into a gate.
He said that when the woman heard the gunshots she had to grab her son and hide behind some water tanks nearby.
He said, “When I start to hear them shots. I did not even know it was gunshots but when it went on me and them fellas duck on the ground.
Boy is like we hear a million shots dey.”
He said that seven of his colleagues were working on the building at the time while he himself was outside plastering the walls when the drama occurred.
He looked visibly shaken while all the other workers around him smoked.
“When I was on the scaffolding I hear two gunshots and when I do so I see when the red car (maroon coloured Almera) pull in and it bounce two other cars and the driver jump out and he fire and they (the police) start to buss shots behind he.”
He along with his colleagues pointed out three bullet holes in the walls of the museum as well as a smashed piece of lead (the projectile of the bullet) that was on the floor near where they worked.
“We could have been killed,” said another man.
In the meantime, Assistant Commissioner of Police North Eastern Division, Wayne Dick said yesterday that he wanted to specially commend all the officers of the Northern Division, North Eastern Division and Eastern Division for their diligence and commitment in the performance of their duties over the last ten days.
He said, “The recovery of this firearm and arrest of these suspects brings the total of firearm recovered for the past nine days to eight.”
He said that his officers also recovered 72 rounds of 5.56 ammunition along with several rounds of 9 mm ammo.
He added, “A quantity of narcotics inclusive of cocaine and marijuana, the arrest of several suspects involved in robberies and shooting offences are all benefits of an exercise which started on April 5 and is continuing.”
ACP Dick also beamed that in the last nine days they have arrested several suspects for murder, shooting and robberies.
ACP Mervyn Richardson also weighed in yesterday and reported that in the last 24 hours there had been very little serious criminal activity around the country.
He reported “nil” activity in the South Western Division, North-Eastern Division, Northern Division, Eastern Division and Tobago Division.
ACP Richardson added that Port of Spain recorded two Serious crimes, the Western Division four, while the Southern Division recorded three serious crimes during which two people were arrested and charged for the offence of kidnapping.