Trinidad: Cop accidentally killed by friend during hunting trip

Dave Ragoonanan

(Trinidad Guardian) A hunt­ing trip in Blan­chisseuse with a group of friends end­ed trag­i­cal­ly for a po­lice­man af­ter he was ac­ci­den­tal­ly shot yes­ter­day.

Po­lice Con­sta­ble Dave Ragho­nanan, 35, who wait­ed sev­er­al hours be­fore he was air­lift­ed to the hos­pi­tal, was pro­nounced dead on ar­rival at the fa­cil­i­ty yes­ter­day morn­ing.

How­ev­er, the man who al­leged­ly shot the of­fi­cer, a 39-year-old Ari­ma man who was among the group, did not have a firearm user’s li­cence for the 12-gauge shot­gun in­volved in the fa­tal in­ci­dent. Po­lice are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cir­cum­stances of the shoot­ing, but the shoot­er will like­ly face charges of pos­ses­sion of arms and am­mu­ni­tion.

Teshiera Raghonanan-Mathura recalls her last moment with her brother, PC Dave Raghonanan, who was accidentally shot and killed during a hunting trip with friends in Blanchisseuse.

Ragho­nanan, who was last at­tached to the Guard and Emer­gency Branch, left his home with his friends on Wednes­day for Pe­tit Tacariqe, Paria, but some­thing went wrong on Thurs­day night.

Po­lice said eight of them went on the hunt­ing trip. Ragho­nanan and three oth­ers went hunt­ing while the oth­er four re­mained in the camp. Po­lice said Ragho­nanan got a cramp while they were hunt­ing and sat down against a tree. The friends left him there and con­tin­ued hunt­ing. For­get­ting that he was in that area, po­lice said the men lat­er opened fire and ac­ci­den­tal­ly shot him.

Ac­cord­ing to a TTPS re­lease, around mid­night of­fi­cers at­tached to the Blan­chisseuse Po­lice Sta­tion re­ceived in­for­ma­tion from the Com­mand Cen­tre that an of­fi­cer was ac­ci­den­tal­ly shot while hunt­ing. How­ev­er, the on­ly ac­cess to the Pe­tit Tacarique Bay, which is lo­cat­ed on an iso­lat­ed islet off Blan­chisseuse, is via boat or he­li­copter. Ragho­nanan was air­lift­ed out of the for­est by he­li­copter and ar­rived at the Er­ic Williams Med­ical Sci­ences Com­plex, Mt Hope, around 7.20 am. He was pro­nounced dead on ar­rival at the hos­pi­tal. The re­lease said of­fi­cers vis­it­ed the scene and in­ter­viewed mem­bers of the hunt­ing trip.

Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith ex­tend­ed his sin­cer­est con­do­lences to the fam­i­ly.

At his fam­i­ly’s home at Di­a­mond Vil­lage, San Fer­nan­do, rel­a­tives were in a state of shock.

Ragho­nanan’s sis­ter Teshiera Ragho­nanan-Mathu­ra said her broth­er re­cent­ly start­ed go­ing on the hunt­ing trips with his friends. Al­though they were con­cerned for his safe­ty, she said Ragho­nanan had a “big ma­cho” at­ti­tude and would say he could take care of him­self. She said her broth­er was ex­pect­ed to re­turn home yes­ter­day. She said Ragho­nanan had 15 years ser­vice and re­cent­ly passed his cor­po­ral ex­am­i­na­tion.

“He en­joyed his job. He want­ed to move up the ranks,” she said.

She said their broth­er Ty­rone Ragho­nanan is al­so a po­lice of­fi­cer.

Ragho­nanan, she said, loved out­door ac­tiv­i­ties and was a mem­ber of the Trail­blaz­ers 4×4 Jim­ny club.

Ragho­nanan, the last of three sib­lings, was di­vorced and lived alone but he had al­ready start­ed putting up dec­o­ra­tions and prepar­ing for Christ­mas. She said the po­lice promised them a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion.


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