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Relatives of prison officer Trevor Serrette, inset, who was killed yesterday, console each other after they arrived at the scene of the crime in Valencia.

Police officers assigned to the TTPS Air Support, led by acting Insp Rampallard, joined with SORT, Prison Response Team and Guard and Emergency Branch as they searched late into yesterday afternoon for the person or persons responsible for the murder of prison officer Trevor Serette.

Police said just after midday yesterday, Serrette, 48, of La Seiva Road, Sangre Grande, was at his fruit and vegetable mart at Eastern Main Road, Valencia, near the Valencia Roundabout, when a white AD wagon stopped at the front of the stall.

A gunman got out of the vehicle and pointed a gun at Serrette. Serrette attempted to run for his life but was shot several times by the gunman, who then escaped in the waiting vehicle.

Police were called in and immediately cordoned off the crime scene and embarked on a manhunt for the suspects.

Serrette’s relatives also rushed to the scene and were emotional as they struggled to come to terms with what had occurred.

Serrette had 26 years of service.

Guardian Media was told by a prison source that Serrette, who was a Prisons Officer II, was last assigned to the Wayne Jackson Building at the Maximum Security Prison in Arouca.

He was described as a “very straightforward no-nonsense officer.”

Serrette is the fourth officer from the Maximum Security Prison to be killed within a five-year period.

His killing was condemned by Commissioner of Prisons Dennis Pulchan, who called for the perpetrators to be caught swiftly and brought to justice.

In a statement, Pulchan condemned the action of the perpetrators, which he has described as “cowardly and heinous.”

Pulchan said an emergency meeting was called with members of the executive and they were working with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service to have the persons responsible arrested and charged in the shortest time possible.

Pulchan also urged officers to continue to be alert and exercise caution both on and off duty.

Serrette is the 26th officer to be murdered over the past 30 years.

Pulchan, also offered comfort to Serrette’s relatives.

“Our sincerest and heartfelt condolences go out to the family, friends and colleagues of Officer Trevor Serrette. May the eternal light shine upon him and grant us all comfort during this trying time,” the release stated.