Last update: 26-Jul-2014 6:30 am
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Family disputes cops’ version of man’s shooting
Relatives of murder suspect Anthony Hepburn, who was shot dead by police at his Claxton Bay home on Tuesday, are disputing the police account of how the incident occurred. In fact, they plan to visit Police Complaints Authority director Gillian Lucky to file a complaint after his funeral. Hepburn, 25, a tradesman from Sookhoo Trace Extension, died from multiple gunshot wounds to his neck, head, hands and chest during what police said was a shootout. But relatives claimed on Wednesday that Hepburn was unarmed and pleaded for his life when Central Division police cornered him at the back of his brother Emerald Fortune’s house, shortly after 2.30 pm on Tuesday. Although Fortune admitted his brother had committed several crimes, he said police seemed intent on ensuring he did not survive. “The whole point about this matter is that he did his wrong and I expect him to face punishment for his crimes. You have to face your consequences, because that is wickedness at the end of the day. “But these police, they are not judge, they are not jury and they are not executioners,” Fortune said.
Police reported that when they arrived at the house and called out to Hepburn, he ran outside shooting at them and they returned fire, hitting him several times. However, Fortune said it was strange that not one officer was shot and there were no gunshot marks on his galvanise fence or the walls of his house to show his brother had shot at the police. Giving his version of the shooting, Fortune said he and his wife Monique Fraser were at home when Hepburn came and asked for a flash drive. Hepburn then walked to the back of the house, moments before police arrived. He said when the police came, they barged into his sister’s home next door and held his nephew, but after realising he was not Hepburn, they kicked in his front door and pointed a gun at him. When they realised he too was not who they were looking for they went outside and prevented him from following them.
He said he heard his brother begging for his life, then at least six shots. Fraser said he later saw the police wrap his brother’s body in a shower curtain and throw him into the police vehicle. He claimed Hepburn did not have a gun and was wearing only a pair of boxer shorts when he was shot by the police. Hepburn, the father of a two-year-old daughter, was wanted for the murder of Sean Jaikaran, 29, on January 17, and for the rape of a 13-year-old schoolgirl during a robbery at her family’s home earlier this month. He also had two matters before the court, one for stabbing a man during an altercation and the shooting of a male relative. “They did not have to kill him. Yes, he gave trouble, but he never pulled a gun for them. He went down on his knees and he was begging for his life, as a matter of fact,” Fortune said.