By James M. Abraham
A brazen shooting near police headquarters on Main Street early last Saturday morning left a popular entertainer and entrepreneur with superficial wounds. And after the attack, the family and friends of Brent “Knolly Banton” Mitchell are asking: where are the police?
The shooting incident happened at about 3:30 Saturday morning, at De Spot, a bar on Main Street just behind a block of buildings across from police headquarters.
The bar is frequented by Trinidadians. It is owned by Mitchell, a native of Trinidad, and two family members.
Mitchell is a popular local entertainer who sings lead for the group called “Caribbean Roots.”
“I was sitting in the bar with two other guys,” recalled Mitchell, glancing down at the gunshot wounds in his right leg as he sat on a bed in Alexandra Hospital hours after being shot. “One of the guys went to get some cigarettes.”
That’s when things got dangerous.”
“He came back with two other guys,” Mitchell recalled. “One of the strangers was holding a gun to my friend’s head.”
The gunman and his partner quickly stripped the three men of their valuables. Mitchell said he lost $900.
“We gave them the money, then they ran out of the alley,” Mitchell said.
The bar sits just behind a row of shops across the street from the police station, near the intersection of government Road and Main Street. Three alleys connecting to Main Street give access to the bar. The robbers sped off, using the same alley from which they had emerged with their brief hostage.
Mitchell ran after them, running up the alley that debouched on Main Street directly in front of the police station. By then the robbers had reached Government Road.
They turned and saw Mitchell in pursuit.
“The guy with the gun saw me,” he said grimly. “Then he fired two shots.”
Both bullets, Mitchell recalled, appeared to be warning shots.
“I wasn’t sure I got hit,” he said. “When he fired I pressed up against a wall.”
The shots were fired just a few feet from the police station.