You are here
Slain cop’s partner: His sacrifice will not go in vain (with CNC3 video)
PC Nicholas Phillip will not easily forget the sight of his partner Sgt Hayden Manwaring slumped over the back seat of a getaway car they had intercepted, or the look in Manwaring’s eyes when he said he had been shot. Phillip said yesterday that Manwaring sacrificed his life to ensure the public’s safety as they tried to stop five robbery suspects escaping in San Fernando on Tuesday.
“I feel drained, weak, emotionally and mentally,” Phillip said in an interview with the T&T Guardian yesterday. Phillip was shot, too. He still has a bullet in his right arm, but doctors say it is not life-threatening. “I worked with the guy for a long time... he was a good man, a great police officer and a great human being,” Philip said of his fallen colleague, who, four years ago, took Phillip under his wing.
Phillip, 29, of Sobo Village, Palo Seco, called for police numbers to be strengthened, saying they were stretched to their limit. If there had been more than the two of them in the police car when they confronted the bandits on Tuesday, he said, the results could have been different. He said he and Manwaring had been doing interviews and so did not have on bulletproof vests when they heard a wireless report about a robbery nearby.
“We were not going on any robbery or crime scene,” he said. Told that police should always be prepared, he defended their action, saying ideally there should be more than two officers on patrol. “But the resources are stretched to the limit,” Phillip said. “This thing happened in seconds... help was nearby, but they were seconds too late.” He recalled hearing a police bulletin saying bandits had robbed a business place and escaped in an AD wagon.
Phillip and Manwaring, 43, of Couva, later spotted the wagon on Lady Hailes Avenue, San Fernando. “It looked like the driver and front-seat passenger were the only two occupants, so we decided we could handle them,” Phillip said. They called their command centre, to say they had seen the getaway car and were going to intercept it, then approached the car, he on the right side and Manwaring on the left.
“When we approached the vehicle and identified ourselves, we saw it was filled with three other occupants in the back seat,” Phillip said. They had not realised this before because the back seats were low and the occupants were not clearly visible from a distance. “When the guys saw the police, everybody immediately tried to exit the vehicle, through the door, the window, while we tried to contain them inside the vehicle, until help came,” Phillip said.
“As they tried to push open the door, Manwaring pushed back, but one of the guys apparently pushed the door open and snatched Manwaring’s firearm. “Then I heard several loud explosions. I was shot. Manwaring, who was leaning on the vehicle, fell into the back seat. I drew my service revolver and there was a second exchange of gunfire. Everybody scatter, except the driver of the getaway car. Sarge called me by name and told me he was shot. I looked down and saw a hole in his body. There was blood.”
Phillip ignored the blood running from the wound to his own right arm and told the driver of the getaway car to take his partner to the hospital. That driver was later arrested, along with three other suspects, one of whom is still warded with gunshot wounds. Phillip, who was treated and discharged, said he stayed at the hospital until Manwaring was brought out of the theatre after what appeared to be a successful surgery.
“We were all in the corridor when the doctors told us he was stable, although serious,” he said. He said police and members of Manwaring’s family began to celebrate and thank God. When they were told he had died, tears flowed uncontrollably, he said. “That was a real serious blow...This was a man I had worked closely with since I joined the service, five or six years ago, in the CID, Task Force and Operations,” he said.
Phillip swore that the tragedy had strengthened his resolve to do his part to rid the country of the scourge of crime. “Sarge made a huge sacrifice with his life, for his job and for the safety of the public, and I cannot let that go in vain,” he said. “I love my job, I will not stop being a police officer because of this. With the help of my colleagues, we will get a grip on crime.”
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.