T&T Police Shootout: 3 Youths Dead, 3 Released Without Charges

One of the survivors of the police-involved shooting on Saturday lights a candle for the victims during a vigil at the scene of the incident on Independence Square, Port-of-Spain, on Tuesday.
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T&T Guardian-A 15-year-old boy who shot was in the arm when police opened fire on a car in Port-of-Spain on Saturday morning, killing three of his friends, has been released from hospital.

Guardian Media yesterday spoke to the boy’s mother, who said while he was physically okay, the incident had left him severely traumatised.

She also said her son has not been charged with any offence in relation to the incident. He was the third of the survivors of the incident released without charges being laid by the police.

Around 3.30 am on Saturday, police say they were chasing a white Toyota Aqua with six occupants from Diego Martin into Port-of-Spain. The officers have claimed the vehicle’s occupants shot at them and they shot back.

Yesterday, in a press release confirming the three youngsters were released without charges, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) seemed to double down on the officers’ claims.

“Officers of the Guard and Emergency Branch who also joined the pursuit allegedly came under fire from the occupants of the vehicle and in keeping with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service’s Use of Force Policy, returned fire in the direction of the occupants,” the release stated.

“A Smith and Wesson pistol was also reportedly found in the vehicle,” the release added.

Isaiah Roberts, 17, Leonardo Williams, 22 and Fabien Richards, 24, were killed by police fire in the incident.

Yesterday, Williams’ mother, Lucky Joseph, told Guardian Media the autopsy on her son’s body showed he had been shot multiple times.

The cause of death on his death certificate stated: “Multiple gunshot injuries to back, right buttock and right forearm.”

The 15-year-old was shot once in the arm and taken to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital where he was warded under police guard.

The other men in the vehicle, who were initially placed in police custody at two different police stations, were also released without charge on Monday night.

Their release came hours after dozens of residents from Beetham Gardens, Sea Lots and East Port-of-Spain blocked roads leading in and out of the capital city in protest of their deaths.

The protest caused grid-lock traffic for several hours and caused police to turn motorists away from entering the city.

The Solid Waste Management Company Limited’s (SWMCOL) transfer station in Sea Lots, where hundreds of used tyres were stored for shredding, was also set alight by protesters.
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