May Martin Joseph rest in peace. Patrick Manning’s seven-year national security minister haunted me watching the budget debated.
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Four men killed in shoot-outs with cops
Four men are now dead after being shot by police during two separate incidents between Wednesday night and yesterday morning, as law enforcement officers clamped down on crime in several communities across Trinidad. The killings took the toll of people killed by police for the year to 11. The dead men were identified as Anthony Hospedales, 18, Satrohan Ramdhanie, 23, Jeremy Clunis, 23, and Gilbert Brown, 25. In the first incident on Wednesday, officers from the St Margaret’s Police Station, Central Division Task Force and Highway Patrol killed two bandits during a shootout after they intercepted a vehicle the men had earlier stolen at gunpoint from a taxi-driver in Couva.
Police said around 10.30 pm, Shawn Husain was working his Nissan Bluebird Sylphy from Couva to San Fernando when he picked up the men, posing as passengers, along the Southern Main Road, Couva. When Husain reached Point-a-Pierre Hill, one of the men asked to be put out. As he stopped the car, one of them pulled out a gun and announced a hold-up. They proceeded to rob him and two other passengers of $1,060, two cellphones, together valued $9,700, and his car, valued at $127,000. A report was made at the St Margaret’s Police Station and an all points bulletin was put out.
Two guns seized
Police on patrol later spotted the car parked near the Claxton Bay landfill. However, before the officers could make an arrest they were fired upon by the carjackers, who then jumped into the vehicle and sped off. The officers followed the vehicle in a high speed chase along the Solomon Hochoy Highway, in which members of the Highway Patrol soon joined. The officers first attempted to intercept the car at Chase Village but the bandits opened fire on them again and managed to elude them. PC Ramsey was shot in the right arm during that attack. The pursuit finally ended when the bandits crashed into a wall several miles later along Xavier Street, off the Caroni Savannah Road, Chaguanas.
When police moved to the car and opened it, they found Hospedales, of Sunflower Drive, Dyette Trace, Cunupia, and Ramdhanie, of Planta Drive, Dyette Estate, Cunupia, inside the car suffering from gunshot wounds. They were taken to the Chaguanas Health Facility where they were pronounced dead on arrival. A Jennings pistol and one magazine with four rounds of ammunition was found in the car. PC Ramsey is currently warded in a stable condition at the Eric Williams Medical Complex, Mt Hope. About seven hours later, Clunis and Brown were also killed by lawmen during a shootout at McDonald Street Extension, Chinapoo, Morvant.
According to police reports, police went to a house to execute a search warrant for arms and ammunition. While approaching the house, they were fired upon by unknown persons and they returned fire. On checking the house the officers found two men with gunshot wounds. They were taken to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital where they were pronounced dead on arrival. They were subsequently identified as Clunis and Brown, both of Chinapoo, Morvant. The officers recovered a mini Uzi sub-machine gun. Acting ASP Hazel of the Morvant Police Station is continuing enquiries. Police said both men appeared in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates Court on Monday on gun-related charges.