Codi Alves is living a second life today after he miraculously escaped death when police killed his three friends in Morvant on the night of October 1.
Alves, 30, said he had to "play dead to stay alive," otherwise he would have been killed by the police. He "played dead" from Morvant to Port-of-Spain General Hospital where he awoke in the mortuary, much to the surprise of the lone policeman and hospital staff. But his three friends–Joel Romain, 19, a former national junior sprinter, Kerwin "Lall" Joseph, 24, and Akee Caballero, 32, were not so lucky. So far this year, 43 people have been killed by the police. Alves is still traumatised by the incident, saying his friends were innocently killed. He walks around in a daze. He does not trust even his own shadow, and his family is worried for him. He cannot walk the streets of Morvant where he and his friends grew up. He has decided to speak out, after spending more than a month in prison, because he could not afford bail on what he called trumped-up firearm charges. He remained in prison because his own lawyer, Wayne Sturge, refused to apply for bail as he feared for Alves' life. If an inquest is ordered into the deaths, Alves said he would willingly become a witness. He said there were other eyewitnesses to the shooting, but they were afraid, at this time, to come forward.
The following is Alves' story:
"On September 30, we went to lime in Maloney. The next night, we went back to Building 17 at Maloney, to get girls, nah. We were liming with them, drinking and thing, nah. "After that, we jump in we car and go down the road. I was sitting behind the driver. We were followed by a jeep, coming out of Maloney. "We come out on the highway side. We accustom seeing a jeep, passing normal nah. After coming down, we stop by the driver brother in Tunapuna, then the same jeep pass we again, stop, slow down, and I ask, is that not the same jeep that follow we on the highway? "We say that normal, we have nothing on we in the car. We continue to go down the road, after we pass a street, the same jeep come out the street and follow we again, straight down to San Juan.
"After we pass Curepe, we saw the same jeep pop up and fly pass we,�like they marking we, watching we, nah. My brethren say, you ain't see that, the same, same jeep boy. "We stop in Royal Castle in San Juan and meh brethren say he not going back in that car boy. We walk in Royal Castle and he meet up a DJ from up by we, and brethren say he not going back in that car, you see how police marking we. I say we have nothing in that car, boy, we normal boy. The car is a lawyer car, too. He say is not a matter is a lawyer car, is the way the police marking we. All of us from the same area. He then jump back in we car and say let we go. "When we reach by the Morvant junction, we see a big bright beam. I was sitting behind the driver so I look in the mirror, I see a police jeep. When I look around, I see the same police jeep. I then hear 'butu, poom poom.' "The driver mash on the gas, nah, they start to shoot up we car from the junction straight up to Juman's. The car end up crashing by Juman's and the police fire more shots in the car. When the car crash, I play dead right there.
"The driver came out of the car and say 'Boss, ah have my children to live for,' and they walk up on him and start to shoot him. The driver was a Muslim man, they call him Akee. It have people who see how they gun down the man like a dog." Alves continued: "The other two were half-dead. The one who was sitting down in the back seat with me, he done get shoot already through the trunk of the car and through the back seat. I just see him rocking forward so I bend down in the car. The man in the left front seat, he got shot, too. "I not moving, ah playing dead, ah see what going on. The man in front, Lall, and the next man in the back. They (police) pull them out and hit them 'boom, boom'. I just lying down, ah ain't moving. They take me out first and throw me in the back of the jeep. They put two others in the back of the jeep. They take the driver and put him in the tray of a van. "The next man in the front seat, he didn't dead yet. He was still moving at the back of the jeep, I was holding down he hand, so. He was bawling eh, eh, I holding he down tight, so. Then a policeman spin around and say that man ain't dead.
"He say stop, stop on the Lady Young Lookout and then say, take him out, take him out, and shoot him in the head. They throw him back in the jeep and he say give him the gun, give him the gun.�"He take a gun and fire two shots in the jeep, like if it have a shoot-out. I could hear him on the police radio bawling for back-up and firing shots in the air, saying shoot-out, shoot-out, help, come and help we. "We reach the hospital now, they jump out the jeep and say, is four ah dem. The nurse say four ah dem dead, they say nah, four ah dem died. I playing dead, they start to feel everybody pulse when we reach in the mortuary.
"One say ah feeling a pulse on this one, we will go with him, nah. A next nurse saying why they leaving this one alive, to come back and pess other people. Better they did finish kill he and done. "I frighten, too. A policeman was standing up there guarding. They put some kind of gas thing on meh face, ah started to feel numb. I didn't get shoot, the nurse saying I ain't seeing no bullet wounds on this one, like he didn't get shoot, turn him over. I full ah blood, remember is three bodies in the jeep and everybody dead, all the blood leaking down on my face. The blood was leaking like a pipe."
�2 Continues tomorrow