Trinidad Anglican Bishop: Get guns off the streets

(Trinidad Guardian) There must be a con­cert­ed ef­fort to get il­le­gal firearms off the streets and some kind of com­mu­ni­ty pro­gramme must be im­ple­ment­ed to re­duce crim­i­nal vi­o­lence.

This was the ad­vice giv­en by An­gli­can Bish­op Claude Berkley on the heels of Tues­day’s “in­no­cent” shoot­ing and wound­ing of one of the rev­erends in the An­gli­can Church in T&T, Ger­ald Hen­drick­son.

Hen­drick­son, 54, was in­no­cent­ly shot and wound­ed dur­ing a gun chase by two men in Port-of-Spain on Tues­day at about 2 pm. Hen­drick­son is cur­rent­ly as­signed to the St Mar­garet of An­ti­och An­gli­can Church & St Jerome’s Mis­sion in Bel­mont.

An­gli­can Bish­op Claude Berkley

Berkley said, “One of the is­sues that we have to deal with is tack­ling the feel­ing that peo­ple can get away with the com­mis­sion of crimes or that they will not be caught. That kind of urge and feel­ing has led to a sense of brazen­ness and dis­re­spect for law and or­der and seek­ing to pro­mote some chaos on our streets and in our com­mu­ni­ties.”

He al­so said there was need for prayers and teach­ings in the na­tion’s schools and homes, es­pe­cial­ly for the younger ones, as they need to be taught the im­por­tance of hav­ing a sense of civic and pub­lic re­spon­si­bil­i­ty.

“There is a need for some dras­tic ac­tion to help push back this kind of wan­ton and run­away sit­u­a­tion where peo­ple feel they can act if they are an­gry…they can just re­spond to their anger and be with­out that self-con­trol and self-dis­ci­pline to hurt and even kill oth­er peo­ple who are not even in­volved in their own con­flict,” Berkley said.

Po­lice said Hen­drick­son had just stepped out of a store at Prince Street and was on his way to pur­chase food when a man who was be­ing chased by a gun­man en­tered the same store. The gun­man opened fire in the di­rec­tion of the in­di­vid­ual he was chas­ing and Hen­drick­son was hit twice in the stom­ach. Po­lice said they re­cov­ered 14 spent shells and one live round on the scene. The sus­pect in the shoot­ing was de­tained by po­lice of­fi­cers at Nel­son Street with­in min­utes.

Berkley con­firmed that Hen­drick­son’s con­di­tion is se­ri­ous but not crit­i­cal. “I may see him soon as I just re­turned to the coun­try, but I was told that he is in pain and some­what re­strict­ed giv­en the af­ter­math of the surgery that he un­der­took. How­ev­er, we are pray­ing for him and a speedy re­cov­ery.”

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