An Aranguez family was in full praise of the T&T Police Service yesterday after officers foiled a robbery at their home in the wee hours of Sunday morning, shooting dead four bandits and arresting two others.
Guardian Media visited the scene of the police killing yesterday and spoke to one of the victims who asked not to be identified as he said his family members were still fearful for their safety.
The man said he was asleep around 1 am when he was awakened by a relative who told him there was a group of men standing in the family’s front yard. That relative, he said, had checked the family’s CCTV camera system and noticed the men.
He said his family tried unsuccessfully to hide from the men by barricading themselves in a room but the door to the room was broken down by the masked men.
The man said he never expected his family home to be violated in such a manner.
He said if the family did not have CCTV cameras set up, no one would have known of the men’s presence before they entered the house.
“We were lucky someone was awake to see them outside or things could have been different. I really must commend the police, their response time was amazing, the longest wait was waiting for the emergency operator to answer, they were very fast in getting here,” he said.
He said when the men discovered his family hiding, they ordered a female relative to show them where the family’s jewelry and other valuables were kept.
“They didn’t hit us or anything, it looked like they just wanted to see what they could get. The ones in the room with us were telling the others, “Bring the gun, bring the gun,” but they had knives with them, I didn’t see the gun they were talking about.”
He said the bandits took keys for the family’s vehicles, money and jewelry and were about to escape with the loot when the police arrived.
“They left our cars and one of theirs. One set of them drive off in one of the cars they come in and the rest run away.”
According to a release by the TTPS, officer of the North Eastern Division Task Force (NEDTF) responded to the family’s call and saw five men in a white Nissan Almera about to leave the scene of the robbery.
The men began shooting at the police vehicle and drove onto Samaroo Street, Aranguez with police in hot pursuit.
The shootout ended with four of the five bandits wounded, while the fifth managed to escape. The four were taken to hospital, where they died while receiving treatment. Two more bandits who escaped the scene on foot were also held and taken into custody.
Two of the dead bandits were identified by police as Miguel Cox and Keshorn Cox, both of Chinapoo Village, Morvant. Up until press time, the other two deceased men were not identified.
Police say two guns with 19 rounds of ammunition in total were found in the car.
Residents along Samaroo Street were also in full praise of the police yesterday, as they reported hearing a volley of gunshots in the early morning confrontation.
That sentiment was echoed on social media, as photos of the four dead men were widely circulated yesterday morning.
On the Facebook page called “In Support of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service” the photos were posted with the caption, “A grim reminder of what happens when you engage the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service in a gunfight.”
Five hours after it was published, the post had already been shared over 2,400 times with over a thousand comments, heaping praise on the officers for their quick and deadly response.
So far for the year there have been 12 police killings.