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Relatives of Abba Diaz, 24, who was shot and killed by police last Thursday, said yesterday that he was assassinated by the police and they are calling for justice with regard to his killing. Speaking at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, yesterday, Diaz’s brother Azizi told journalists that police had executed his brother. Diaz’s girlfriend Michelle Piango said an eyewitness told the family that police shot at the crashed vehicle with Diaz and two other men trapped inside.
The two other men have been identified as Christian Ashby, who was also killed during the alleged shootout with the police, and another man identified only as “Gunta” who is currently on the run from the police. North-Eastern Division Task Force officers said they were on mobile patrol along Saddle Road, Santa Cruz, when they were told of a housebreaking at Francis Street, around 3.45 am. When they arrived they saw a gold-coloured Toyota Corolla with three occupants acting suspiciously.
The police tried to stop them but they sped off, shooting at the police who shot back. The car ran off the road near the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) pumping station near Jaggan Village. The men reportedly continued shooting at the police, who returned fire, fatally hitting Diaz and Ashby, while the third man escaped. Police said they recovered two loaded illegal firearms from the dead men. Diaz’s aunt Lucy Lara-O’Brian told reporters that her nephew was a very respectful man who did odd jobs.
“At the end of the day it is life. We wouldn’t get on. We just humble, we have to take life as it come,” she said but added, “It unfair for police to just kill you.” She said her nephew was dead because he followed bad company. For this year, 29 people have been killed by police, with 19 of those cases being investigated by the Police Complaints Authority.